|Some folklore, etymology, and an early C19th event/kneesup. According to the RCAHMS record, the cairn probably has prehistoric roots even if it has been added to since. At 45m diameter and an impressive 6m in height, it is one of the largest cairns in Scotland.
For miles [the river Clyde] winds along round the base of Tinto or Tintock hill..; on the summit of which is a large cairn, by tradition reported to have been thus erected by those who, as a penance, were compelled by the priests of St. John's kirk, in Lanark, to carry so many stones to the top of the hill.p266 of 'The Church of England Magazine' vol 17, 1844.
Tinto, it has often been said, signifies the hill of fire; but whether it was so called from the fires which were kindled on it at Beltane, or in the beginning of May, in honour of some tutelary deity, or on whatever other occasion, I do not presume to determine.New Statistical Account of Scotland, v6 (1845) p518.
Teinne in the Galic means fire; and toich land, ground, territory, or tom a hill.'The Gentle Shepherd', Allan Ramsey, 1808 v2 p480.
In the shire of Lanark is a remarkable insulated mountain, called Tinto..; upon which the return of peace was lately celebrated by an immense bonfire made of 50 loads of coal, and a large quantity of wood, at which several sheep were roasted whole. The fire was kindled at nine o'clock at night, and had a beautiful effect; as the Cairn of Tinto is seen from 17 counties, and from the Atlantic and German Oceans.(this must refer to the end of the 1807-1814 Peninsular War?) From The Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Chronicle. Jan-June, 1814, v84. p693.
All books found online at Google Books.
Posted by Rhiannon
5th March 2007ce
Edited 5th March 2007ce