[Having crossed the Ochils and descended to the moor below..] The whole moor was covered with a luxuriant crop of bent and heath, and while surveying the modest blossom of the latter, we could not help heaving a sigh for the many brave hearts which had sunk there to "fill a nameless grave." After having made a circuit of the scene of the battle, we directed our steps to a number of large stones, almost in the centre of the field, and upon which, tradition avers, the Highlanders sharpened their broadswords, dirks, and axes, the evening previous to the engagement. Indeed, from the appearance of the stones, one would be led to suppose as much, for they are all more or less scratched, as if they had been acted upon by these warlike weapons; but, judging from the date of the battle, it surprised us how these marks could remain so long without suffering from the effects of the weather, situated as the stones are in a cold moorland district, where the snow lies long, and where they are beat upon by every blast that blows. If these marks have been occasioned by what tradition says, they will, in all likelihood, remain for many years to come.
One of the stones is called the "Belted Stane," from a grayish sort of belt encompassing it. A few inches still remain between the two extremities of the belt; but we are informed that this space has become gradually less within these fifty years, and the credulous peasantry around are in the firm belief, that as soon as
The twa ends o' the belt embrace,
A bluidy battle will tak' place.
A pertinent question is, how did these stones come to be placed in their present situation? They are of great size, and must have been carried a considerable distance. There is no tradition as to their being of Druidical origin.
In The Scottish Journal, 1848. Has the belt joined up I wonder. And how scratched does the poor thing look.