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

The Auld Wifes Lifts

Natural Rock Feature


This correspondent in Notes and Queries is using the 'Philosophical Survey of the South of Ireland, in a Series of Letters to John Watkinson, M.D., 8vo., Dublin, 1778.' as his source.
About ten miles north of Glasgow, near the village of Strathblane, were to be seen till lately (as I am informed, some sordid Goth having broken them up to build walls) three immense blocks of freestone in a remote field, reputed to be Druidical, which went under the name of the " Auld Wives' Lifts."

Two of the stones lay together, and the third transversal on the top, with an aperture to creep through, by the doing or not doing of which strange rewards and penalties were the consequence. There is no similar kind of rock near the place. The surrounding ground is generally cold and infertile, and could not be said to be favourable for the growth of oaks or other trees ; but there are evidences from the extensive peat mosses and beams of black oak dug up, that in ancient times, in the neighbourhood of these stones, there had existed large forests of oak, supposed by some to bave been destroyed by the Romans who had possession of the spot, or by the Caledonians in their struggles with that power. G. N.
N&Q April 9th 1859. 'Some sordid Goth' - now that's a great turn of phrase.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
3rd September 2006ce
Edited 25th July 2007ce

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