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




Nearest Town:Lochgelly (6km ESE)
OS Ref (GB):   NT147977 / Sheet: 58
Latitude:56° 9' 51.3" N
Longitude:   3° 22' 25.34" W

Added by Rhiannon

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This large hillfort was protected on one side by the natural crags, and had a single rampart around the rest of its perimeter. A lot of the stones from the wall have gone, but the Canmore record suggests that there are still some massive 'grounders' that remain. It also mentions that the boundaries of three parishes meet here.

Robert Chambers' 'Popular Rhymes of Scotland' (1826) says on page 33:
On the top of Benarty, which rises above Loch Orr, there were formerly held games, which all the herds of Fife, and other neighbouring counties, attended. They brought their wives, daughters and sweethearts; and having a plentiful stock of victuals, kept up the fete for a few days, bivouacking upon the ground during the night. The chief games were the golf, the foot-ball, and the wads*; and what with howling, singing, and drinking, after the manner of the modern Irish, they continued to spend the time very merrily. The top of Benarty is flat, and sufficiently extensive for their for their purpose. This custom is now disused, -- the number of herds being much diminished, and the profession not being of such importance in the country as formerly, on account of the increased number of fences.

* Wad -- a pledge or hostage.
"In this game the players being equally divided, and a certain space marked out between them, each lays down one or more Wads or pledges at that extremity where the party, to which he belongs, choose their station. A boundary being fixed at an equal distance from the extremities, the object is to carry off the wads from the one of these to the other. The two parties, advancing to the boundary or line, seize the first opportunity of crossing it, by making inroads on the territories of each other. He who crosses the line, if sezed by one of the opposite party, before he has touched any of their wads, is set down beside them as a prisoner, and receives the name of a Stinker; nor can he be released, till one of his own side can touch him, without being intercepted by one of the other; in which case he is free. If any one is caught in the act of carrying a wad, it is taken from him; but he cannot be detained as a prisoner, in consequence of his having touched it the pursuit is at an end. When the one party have carried off, to the extremity of their ground, all the other wads of the other, the game is finished. "

Hope you've got that. It's from Folklore vol VII - Fife, here.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
15th April 2009ce
Edited 15th October 2012ce