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

Memsie Burial Cairn

Round Cairn


The tradition is, that the Danes having landed on the Buchan coast, and pillaging their way to Murray, then in possession of their countrymen, were come up with, at the place where now stand the cairns of Memsie in the parish of Rathen, by the Scotch army, and defeated, three of their leaders being slain, over whose buried bodies the 3 cairns were raised, on the very spot where each of them fell; that the Danes retreated, and were again overtaken and defeated at Coburty*, the cairn being raised over the graves of their slain; and that the remains of this Danish army were finally defeated and cut to pieces, on a heath about a quarter of a mile W. from the church of Gamery**, which still retains the name of the Bloody Pots [or pits]; in memory of which victory, the skulls of 3 of their slain leaders were built into the inside of the church wall, where two of them still remain, the other being consumed through length of time.
p579 of v12 of the Statistical Account (1797), by Sir John Sinclair.

*somewhere here: NJ 924 642, one assumes.

**The church (also called 'Kirk of Sculls' - though whose skulls is debatable) is "not a mile" from Gardenstown so maybe here: NJ 790 644. - from V1 of the Statistical account.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
14th October 2007ce
Edited 14th October 2007ce

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