The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Witch Hillock

Round Barrow(s)


Information from the Canmore record:

The hillock was opened c1856 under the direction of the Earl of Kintore, who lived (I assume) at the nearby Big House of Inglismaldie. He didn't actually get his hands dirty - a Mr J Glenny, his gardener, did the digging. He said that they found several cists containing bones with "a clay urn containing what appeared to be calcined bones."

A 1971 visitor spotted some stones and put forward the following interesting idea:
"About 30m NE are three earthfast boulders, 4.0m apart, forming an arc. They are unusual, being an an area generally devoid of large stones. Their purpose is obscure, but they could be the survivors of a stone circle 7 to 8m in diameter."

When did the mound get its name? Was it assumed a witch was buried there? Or were witches said (or known?) to gather there? Or was it just the Earl of Kintore who fancied something romantic in his garden. The 'Name Book' of 1863 says Witch Hillock is "a remarkable looking object...enclosed with ornamental wire fencing". Lovely. It's probably not quite such an fancy feature any more.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
23rd June 2005ce
Edited 23rd June 2005ce

Comments (2)

Used to live in area - stones are next to a hillock ( not the barrow) in wood surrounding castle (reputed to be a tunnel between the two) - in same place is a flat stone on ground which covers a stone-lined well, known to locals as the witchie's well ( rumours of witch drowned in it). Posted by sparr
13th December 2009ce
Oo thankyou Sparr. So are you saying there's a hillock and a barrow? I was thinking the hillock was the barrow. Or a kind of natural barrow. ??

It's nice to hear the local folklore as well. I do like those ever popular mysterious tunnels.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
14th December 2009ce
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