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

West Mains



There are numerous cairns and tumuli scattered through the parish. Such as have been opened have been found to contain a rude stone coffin, enclosing the bones or ashes of a human body. A cairn on the farm of Towie, on the estate of Auchmedden, called Brodie's Cairn, deserves particular notice. My informant remembers three cairns of the same name, but with regard to this one in particular, the tradition is as follows:

A farmer of the name of Brodie murdered his mother, whose body was brought to the gate of the church-yard of Aberdour, and every individual in the parish called upon to apply the hand to the naked corpse, under the superstitious belief that the blood would gush upon the murderer. It was observed, that during the time this was going on, her son carefully kept at a distance, and showed great reluctance to approach the body, and that, when recourse was about to be had to compulsion, he confessed the murder. The tradition farther states, that the murderer was drawn and quartered, and that his four limbs were buried on the sides of four roads leading to the church of Aberdour. So much for ancient superstition.
Another cairn of the same name is listed on Canmore at East Mains at NJ86376460. It's a bit hard from the description whether either of these are the right place, or maybe it refers to the lost third cairn of the same name! All a bit weird really: it sounds rather that the murderer's limbs should have been buried in the cairns?
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
6th December 2011ce

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