THE ARPAFEELIE BASIN STONEThe Arpafeelie Basin Stone
A curious story is attached to an ancient stone, embedded in the ground, in a beechwood on the estate of Alangrange, near Arpafeelie, Black Isle, Ross-shire. The stone, roughly oblong, contains a circular cavity, about eight inches across and eight or nine inches deep, which is very carefully formed out of the hard rock. The stone lies a few yards south of a prehistoric "hut circle" of which there are three pairs, situated on a ridge, called Taendore--Gaelic, Tigh-an-druidbh-- house of the Druids. It is of the class known as Basin Stones.
After a lapse of years the following sequel in events [to the story in PSAS] occurred. In March 1937 permission was given to the Curator of the Inverness Highland Museum, by the owner of Alangrange for the removal of the stone to the Museum. In view of this, two local residents went to examine the stone and accidentally turned it over on one side, leaving it lying thus unnoticed. Forty-eight hours later, the family at Taendore received news of the death of a child relative, caused by an accident. Also a sheep farmer, residing at the same farm, suddenly collapsed while escorting a cousin to her car. Whether or not these incidents were regarded as coincidences, or as acts of diabolical agency, the owner of the estate felt compelled by force of local and family feeling, to cancel the permission for removal of the stone, which she had given so recently.
It, therefore, rests in its original home at Arpafeelie, apparently for all time, as to this day none of the local country people will approach within near distance of the stone.
These later events in the history of the stone, were recorded, at the time, by the Curator of the Museum, in the Inverness Courier, 1937.
There was also a belief that the rainwater contained in the basin of this stone, was a cure for barrenness. "Childless women visited the stone and bathed in its water before sunrise" (Pro.Soc. of Antiquaries Scot. Vol. XVI, p387). This "cure" was resorted to up to the year 1882, at least.
E. J. Begg
Folklore, Vol. 61, No. 3. (Sep., 1950), p. 152.
Posted by Rhiannon
5th October 2006ce
Edited 21st December 2010ce