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

The Cow Cloot Stone

Natural Rock Feature


On the farm of Upper Arvie, now Ken-Ervie, "There is," says the Rev. Mr. Crosbie, in the Statistical Account, "a flat stone about three feet in diameter, on which are the marks of what might be supposed a cow's foot, a horse shoe, the four nails on each side being very distinct, and the impression which might be made by a man's foot and knee while he was in the act of kneeling, the knot of the garter being quite evident. The tradition connected with this remarkable stone, commonly called the 'Cow Clout,' is, that the proprietor, in order to get up arrears of rent, 'drave the pun,' or, in other words, carried off the hypothecated stock, while a fierce resistance was made by the people, and that over this stone, on which a man had just been praying for relief against his enemies, the cattle passed, followed by an officer on horseback, and that it remains as a memorial to posterity of the cruel deed."

This rock, with the 'Cow's Clout,' etc., on it, [...] stands about 100 yards to the north of the march dyke betwixt Upper Ervie now Ken-Ervie and Nether Ervie. There is little to indicate its whereabouts, but the visitor coming from Kenmure Bridge, and leaving the road on the left, opposite Ringour and Bennan farms, on the opposite side of Loch Ken, would come upon it without much trouble by following the march dyke half a mile up.
From Rambles in Galloway by Malcolm McLachlan Harper (1876). Unfortunately the sketch of the stone isn't included in the scan. Harpur also recounts a similarish story about St Ninian in which a bull impresses its footprint on a rock.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
23rd October 2012ce
Edited 23rd October 2012ce

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