The Gouch or Gouk Stone is a large shapeless block of granite, on the north-east of Caskieben, erected (as is said in the last Statistical Account,) to commemorate the death of a general of that name who was slain near it. The tradition in respect to this stone is now forgotten, and it was even with some little difficulty that its site could be ascertained. From p122/123 of the New Statistical Account of Scotland, v12, (Aberdeen), 1845. Online at Google Books.
The Quaich* Stone, built into a low wall near the same place, has no particular marks by which it might be distinguished, and the origin of its name is entirely unknown.
(*A 'quaich' seems to be a two-handled Scottish drinking vessel, fwiw.)
Now, a 1961 visit found the stone at NJ 8375 1307, and the RCAHMS record says: "Standing isolated in a field is a large, almost triangular shaped stone. It is 1.5m tall, 1.5m wide and 0.9m thick, it bears no markings."
But now the plot thickens. This is all a bit confusing. I feel justified in adding it because it's mentioned as a standing stone on the current OS map. Yet the RCAHMS record claims it's not there at all now, and neither is the wall it was near (nor the other stone mentioned, one assumes - but at least this suggests we're in the right place).
Also, they give their suspicions it was a rubbing stone for cattle, saying is not actually depicted on either the 1st or 2nd edition of the OS 6-inch maps (1869 or 1901) and "was probably erected.. in comparatively modern times."
But. The original Statistical Account is talking about it in the 1790s, and it's still there in the 1840s. Ok that's "comparatively modern times" - but why would it have a name? In fact, why would two stones (one in a wall??) get names. You don't give names to rubbing stones you put up two minutes ago, surely. RCAHMS usually take the Statistical Accounts into er, account. But they haven't in this case, which is unusual and this is surely the same location.
I even wonder if it's still there. After all, it tried to evade capture in 1845 - perhaps it was just off somewhere when someone turned up last time, as some stones are apt to do. Maybe I'm wrong and hopelessly misled. Maybe it was a cattle rubbing stone that is long gone. But it's still interesting.
I think this is in the wrong place, because Caskieben = Keith Hall, at Inverurie. Yet it is mentioned in the chapter about Dyce. Oh I am confused.
Posted by Rhiannon
10th June 2007ce
Edited 27th November 2009ce