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

Cnoc Ballygown



Maybe this isn't the right spot - I'm assuming it is because it's high ground near Shiskine, and a fort is the right kind of place for fairies to hang out being antisocial.
Once upon a time a bevy of faeries met on the summit of Durra-na-each, near Shiskin, and proceeded to amuse themselves by throwing down pebbles amongst the trees of the Mauchrie forest. The "rules of the game" required that the stones should be thrown from between the finger and thumb. Many centuries have passed since then, and the giant oaks of the Mauchrie have crumbled into dust, but over the moor may still be seen the pebbles of the faeries in the gray monoliths and stone circles which lie buried in the moss and heath.
p40 of 'The Antiquities of Arran' by John McArthur (1861).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
18th August 2007ce

Comments (1)

The summit of "Durra-na-each" is actually two kilometres North of Cnoc Ballygowan along the B880 above Dereneneach House. It is a hill called "Ard Bheinn" which means "High Mountain" (a slight exaggeration!). The other hill above Dereneneach House is called "Binnein Na H Uaimh" which kinda translates as "Hill of the Cave" (somewhere that faeries might hang out) but I've climbed it a few times and never found the cave. The is a wee burn which runs off it called "Allt na Dris" (Bramble Burn) and we still pick brambles there in the Autumn.
But I digress, of course the pebbles the faeries threw are the stones and cairns on Machrie Moor. Though there is another cairn on Machrie Moor which the faeries were definitely not responsible for. Here...

For any readers of Alasdair Gray's "Lanark" this cairn and its inscription is the last thing Duncan Thaw reads in his short life. The inscription found in the Alasdair Gray's book is actually carved on a large stone set on edge on this cairn. It is listed by the author in his notes on Plagiarisms in "Lanark".

"Upon this spot King Edward had lunch after stalking 28 August 1902"

Duncan Thaw for some reason finds this really funny and laughs a lot but isn't really happy. Shortly afterwards he drowns himself off the Machrie shore (at the southern rocky end).

As older Myths and Fables weave into Archaeology, History and Landscape... so more modern Rubbish and Landscape weave into Art and Literature. It's all good really - when its on Arran.

Howburn Digger Posted by Howburn Digger
2nd July 2014ce
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