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

Giant's Stone

Natural Rock Feature


Here's the story of the stone:
There are many traditional ballads and stories relating to Benachie and Noth. There is a ballad called "John O'Benachie;" and another, "John O'Rhynie, or Jock O'Noth;" and they do not appear in any collection of ancient ballads I have seen.

It is said that long "before King Robert rang," two giants inhabited these mountains, and are supposed to be the respective heroes of the two ballads. These sons of Anak appear to have lived on pretty friendly terms, and to have enjoyed a social crack together, each at his own residence, although distant some ten or twelve miles.

These worthies had another amusement, that of throwing stones at each other; not small pebbles you may believe, but large boulders. On one occasion, however, there appears to have been a coolness between them; for one morning, as he of Noth was returning from a foraging excursion in the district of Buchan, his friend of Benachie, not relishing what he considered an intrusion on his legitimate beat, took up a large stone and threw it at him as he was passing.

Noth, on hearing it rebounding, coolly turned round; and putting himself in a posture of defence, received the ponderous mass on the sole of his foot: and I believe that the stone, with a deeply indented foot-mark on it, is, like the bricks in Jack Cade's chimney, "alive at this day to testify."*
From p286 of Notes and Queries (no204, Sept 24th, 1853).

*this is a quote from Henry the Sixth pt II, act IV, scene II. Jack Cade was an actual rebel against the king in 1450 (regrettably this ended with his head on a pike). A curiously megalithic connection is that he struck the London Stone with his sword to proclaim himself mayor of London.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
29th May 2007ce
Edited 29th May 2007ce

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