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

Denoon Law



There's a story about the hill in 'The Vale of Strathmore - its scenes and legends' by James Guthrie (1875). But it's couched in the most outrageous language ('when the silvery moonbeams lovingly slept in dreamy beauty..') and it's too excruciating to copy out. Whether it's even based on local tradition is a good point. But according to the RCAHMS record, the fort has a wall an impressive 8m thick and 5m high. So you'd think it'd capture local attention.

It seems the fairies had decided they couldn't have any human beings building places to live inside the fort. So they did a deal with some evil spirits - if anyone tried to live there, their attempts would have to be 'blasted in the bud'. Of course, soon someone turned up and started work. That evening, the demons did their duty and hurled all the stones into the vale below. The next morning the builder was a bit surprised but started afresh on some even more sturdy foundations. Rather meanly the demons allowed him to continue a bit longer this time. But then they demolished it all as before. Not learning from experience the man rounded up lots more workers and began again. But of course their efforts were all swept away once more. He was only pursuaded to get lost once and for all by the demons shrieking at him 'Go build the castle in a bog, where it will neither shake nor shog!' Hmm.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
17th January 2011ce
Edited 17th January 2011ce

Comments (2)

My late mum-in-law lived all her days just on the other side of Craigowl from Denoon (she was born in Tealing). When we were up visiting her, myself and my other half used to walk over the hills regularly from Auchterhouse to the Glamis road and back. We tramped up to Denoon many's a time (sadly no photos). The hillfort's walls were very thick and still stood to an impressive height (well they did five years ago anyway!), it tops a small hill (very steep on one side) and access is easy from the farm road (only a few yards away). Sadly we have no-one to visit up there now so we dont see the Sidlaws any more.
There was also a strange circular earthwork on the way through a little valley over the hill not far from Denoon. Didn't look like a sheepfold, fort or cairn.
Howburn Digger Posted by Howburn Digger
27th January 2011ce
That's interesting you've been there. I guess it's the sort of place that'll look pretty much the same if you ever go back, even if your mind's in a different place. I found a photo on Geograph. It's distinctive looking? with those steep rocks. And with the walls on the top it must have looked a total stronghold in its day. Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
27th January 2011ce
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