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Mither Tap



... an artificial peculiarity about [Mither Tap] makes it still more worthy of notice - the great mass of stones that encircles the summit like a fortification... Naturally the Picts - and probably deservedly - get the credit of the building... The fortification has also been attributed to Sir Andrew Leslie of Balquhain, the Earl of Mar's "master of horse," who fought and was killed at the Battle of Harlaw.

Tradition has it that at one time he lived on the top, and carried off young women to this rude fortress, as well as took shelter there himself when his lawlessness put him in disgrace with his superior. But there are several reasons why this tradition should not be credited, besides the absurd account which it gives as to the origin of the Maiden Causeway...

There is another, and much later, tradition that the fortress was used as a hiding place by Lord Pitsligo after he had been attainted for his share in the rebellion of '45. An active search was made for him after the Battle of Culloden, but he always contrived, though often very narrowly, to evade his pursuers...

When on Bennachie he occasionally visited his friend General Horn at Logie-Elphinstone, and had a night's hard drinking with him. On the General's wife remonstrating with him against this habit, Lord Pitsligo replied that, "if she was sittin' upon a cauld, bare stane up on Bennachie wi' naething but burn water, she micht ca' that 'hard drinkin'.'"

The well is now dry, the water having disappeared it is said, in a single night, though some years ago it gave a fair supply of excellent water. At one time it was filled up with stones, to the disgust of the natives, by a crofter-squatter, who was annoyed by his sheep wandering to the top of the Mither Tap, and occasionally falling into the well. The stones have since been partly removed, but water appears to have forsaken the place.
The last bit sounds suspiciously superstitious, that by insulting the well by filling it in, it decided it wouldn't bother any more. Maybe.

This and masses more in Alex. Inkson McConnochie's 'Bennachie' (1890) which is on the Archive.orgwebsite.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
13th July 2010ce

Comments (1)

Another potential origin for the name Bennachie.... Beinn-na-che

An early Irish origin myth gives 'Cruithne' as the eponymous ancestor of the Picts. In this myth it is said that the seven sons of Cruithne gave their names to the seven divisions of the Pictish kingdom. The names of the seven sons were Fib, Fidach, Foltlaig, Fortrenn, Caitt, Ce and Circinn. Fib is equated with Fife, the site of Fidach is uncertain, the others being Athol Fortriu, Caithness, Aberdeenshire and Angus respectively. Regardless of the accuracy of the myth, these seven divisions did exist historically within Pictish territories.

Could the Che be a remnant of the name of the pictish "tribe" who inhabited the area? The "Ce"

Hill of the Ce???

Just a thought. :-)

Posted by cinnead
21st August 2011ce
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