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




After a slightly more dialecty version of the rhyme below, the 'Scottish Journal of Topography, Antiquities, Traditions, &c' says:
"On the summit," says Chambers, "is an immense accumulation of stones, said to have been brought thither at different times from the vale (distance three Scotch miles), by the country people, upon whom the task was enjoined as a penance, by the priests of St John's Kirk, which was situated in a little glen at the north-east skirt of the mountain, though no vestige of its existence now remains except the burying ground.

The summit of Tintock is often enveloped in mist; and the 'kist' mentioned in the rhyme, was, perhaps, a large stone, remarkable over all the rest of the heap for having a hole in its upper side, which the country people say was formed by the grasp of Sir William Wallace's thumb, on the evening previous to his defeating the English at Boghall, in the neighbourhood.

The hole is generally full of water, on account of the drizzling nature of the atmosphere; but if it is meant by the 'caup' [cup] mentioned, we must suppose that the whole is intended as a mockery of human strength; for it is certainly impossible to lift the stone and drink off the contents of the hollow.

A ballad by the late Sir Alexander Boswell, entitled "The Spirit of Tintoc, or Johnnie Bell and the Kelpie," was published anonymously in 1803. The story is the adventurous undertaking of a drouthy tailor, who resolves to quench his thirst from the magic cup..
Naturally nothing good came of it. The rest is on p149 (v1, 1847) and it's scanned in on Google Books should you wish to investigate.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
27th September 2007ce

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