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

Pitcur Souterrain



It is locally known as "The Cave," but the term "Picts' House," often given to such structures, is also applied to it.


A tradition which a family of that neighbourhood has preserved for the past two centuries, has, in the opinion of the present writer, a distinct bearing upon the "cave" and its builders.

This is that, a long time ago, a community of "clever" little people, known as "the merry elfins," inhabited a "tounie," or village, close to the place. The present inheritors of the tradition assume that they lived above ground, and do not connect them at all with this "cave," of whose existence they were unaware until a comparatively recent date. But, in view of a mass of folk-lore ascribing to such "little people" an underground life, the presumption is that the "tounie" was nothing else than the "cave". This theme cannot be enlarged upon here; but a study of the traditions relating to the inhabitants of those subterranean houses will make the identification clearer.

It may be added that the term "Picts' house" applied to the Pitcur souterrain, is in agreement with the inherited belief, so widespread in Scotland, that the Picts were a people of immense bodily strength, although of small stature.
From 'Pitcur and its merry elfins' by David Macritchie, in Reliquary and Illustrated Archaeologist for 1897, p217. He's ever hopeful, and I know the feeling exactly, of wanting to pin some local tale on a nearby megalithic spot.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
30th April 2011ce
Edited 30th April 2011ce

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