In fact the stone hasn't been painted white for twenty years, and then an old guy of whom I asked directions promptly told me about the connections to Lumphanan and the Macbeth story. Then he said I sounded like a 'Turra Loon' (I am) and had a strong Buchan accent. This rapidly changed as I was on my way down to the football in the East End of Glasgow.
Aerial foties suggest that this might be in an enclosure, but nothing on the ground indicates this. Still the stone stands 6ft 9 inches with the white paint gradually fading away. It looks over to the Mearns Hills, including Millplough and a heap of cairns. Although in a prominent position it can't be seen from the dual carriageway below, the A90. I pulled in at Mondynes and climbed the hill heading north west, the old guy keeping me right before I went.
With that done I resumed my journey, the first home game of the season, south.
A tradition of Kincardineshire favours the theory that the plague is popularly believed to have had a bodily form. On the farm of Mondynes, in the parish of Fordoun, and at no great distance from the banks of the river Bervie, stands, in the middle of a ploughed field, a large stone, underneath which the plague is said to have been buried.
At the last occurence of the pest in Scotland, say the country people, there dwelt in this district a benevolent warlock, who determined to free his country for ever from the terrible destroyer. By dint of spells, he succeeded in drawing toards him the whole material of the plague, and winding it up round his fingers, as people wind thread. The clew reached the size of a man's head before every particle was collected. When completed, he took it in his hands to the spot mentioned, put it into the earth, and covered it with this large stone. All of this was done by spells, the power of which ceased when the stone was laid down; so that, according to the popular belief, it that were to be removed, the ball would burst forth, explode, and the plague would again overspread the country.
Mentioned in the Edinburgh Literary Journal (Nov 1828-May 1829), p380.
"The irregularly-shaped Court Stane is one of those standing stones which attracts folkloric jetsam. The name could come from the site of an old feudal court of the Barony of Mondynes (which may mean there was a stone circle here - just like at Old Rayne); or perhaps it was emblematic of the authority of a Steward or Thane. More theatrically, it is said to mark where Duncan II was killed in 1094. In 2004 the stone was a bright white, courtesy of a tradition of unknown purpose maintained by the estate. In recent years the paint has not been renewed and the stone has reverted to its native grey."
The 1845 'New Statistical Account' recorded the belief that this stone was set up to commemorate the death of Duncan II. He was unkindly but alliteratively murdered here at Mondynes by Mormaer Malpei of the Mearns in 1094. It also states "'Duncan's shade' or 'field' lies nearby."
A later account of 1914 by J C Watt said (unbelievingly) that the stone was the judgement seat of the Barony of Mondynes.
It is apparently 6ft 9ins tall but leans to the NW, and stands "in a prominent position.. commanding a wide view."
Aerial photographs from 2001 may show an enclosure around the stone, about 25m in diameter, with the stone inside the south edge.