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Witch's Stone, Straloch

Natural Rock Feature

<b>Witch's Stone, Straloch</b>Posted by drewbhoyImage © drew/amj
Also known as:
  • Clach Mhor
  • Cottertown

Nearest Town:Pitlochry (12km SW)
OS Ref (GB):   NO045643 / Sheet: 43
Latitude:56° 45' 38.06" N
Longitude:   3° 33' 44.22" W

Added by BigSweetie


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<b>Witch's Stone, Straloch</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Witch's Stone, Straloch</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Witch's Stone, Straloch</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Witch's Stone, Straloch</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Witch's Stone, Straloch</b>Posted by drewbhoy

Fieldnotes

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The Witch's Stone has somehow been classified as a standing stone by Canmore, obviously drinking whatever old Fred Coles or possibly myself drank. More likely it is a massive glacerial sitting at 7 meters wide and 7 meters tall complete with a tree growing on top. On another day magnificent views of the Ardle valley would be seen but today clouds and mist. At least it had stopped raining, for a wee while. There must be hopefully some folklore about this place.

Visited 1/8/2013.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
5th August 2013ce

Folklore

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According to Affleck Gray's Legends of the Cairngorms (1987) when the Comyns were Lords of Badenoch the Chief enlisted the services of the Witch of Badenoch, who for a large sum of gold agreed to transport stones to the site he had chosen to build a huge impregnable castle.

She searched for two similar huge boulders for doorposts on the outer gate and could find none in Scotland but found some with help from a sister witch on the Isle of Man. So she flew to the Isle of Man and found them without difficulty.

She listed one enormous stone and put it in her apron and set off back to Badenoch. She was passing high above Glenfernate at dawn when a deer hunter spotted her great black mass flying above him. He dropped the deer haunches he was carrying and cried out in astonishment "Dhia gleidh sinn" (God bless us).

The utterance of the holy name destroyed the witch's power and her apron strings broke, sending the great boulder rolling down to the bottom of Glenfernate where it rests to this day, known locally as Clach Mor or the Witch's Stone.

The witch could never get her apron strings to hold even the smallest boulder again, and the castle was never built. Tradition says that on the anniversary the Witch returns and works from sunset to dawn trying to move the stone, and for a long time people gave the unhallowed spot a wide berth on that particular night.
Posted by LauraC
18th March 2018ce