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Wizard's Stone

Natural Rock Feature


I've been puzzling about this, because there must be (or was) a stone called the Deil's Cradle very near to this. I've been scouring the 25" maps without success, though the Wizard's Stone is marked. Yet the WS, with all due respect, doesn't look very exciting. It gets marked, while the infinitely more peculiar sounding Cradle sadly does not. I figure 'Burngrens' below is another version of 'Burngrange', which is on current maps - about a spit from the WS. If you were in the area and took a wander along the burn, you might find the stone yet? There's a Grey (or Gray) Stone marked at Lawhill Farm, which is very close by too. But Coflein declines to comment on any of the three.
The "Deil's Cradle."
On the confines of the parish of Dollar, not far from Hillfoot, the seat of John McArthur Moir, Esq., lies a glen, called Burngrens, watered by a small stream, and planted with numerous large trees. A great number of these, however, have fallen, during the last few years, beneath the unsparing axe; but strong, healthy saplings are rising rapidly to supply their place.

In this glen there is a large stone, of peculiar formation, in every way like a cradle. It is currently believed by the superstitious in the vicinity, that the stone, every Hallowe'en night, is raised from its place, and suspended in the air by some unseen agency, while "Old Sandy," snugly seated upon it, is swung backwards and forwards by his adherents, the witches, until daylight warns them to decamp.

The following rather curious affair is told in connection with the "Cradle:"

One Hallowe'en night a young man, who had partaken somewhat freely of the intoxicating cup, boasted before a few of his companions that he would, unaccompanied, visit the stone. Providing himself with a bottle, to keep his courage up, he accordingly set out. The distance not being great, he soon reached his destination. After a lusty pull at the bottle, he sat down upon the "Cradle," boldly determined to dispute the right of possession, should his Satanic majesty appear to claim his seat. Every rustle of a leaf, as the wind moaned through the glen, seemed to our hero as announcing the approach of the enemy, and occasioned another application to fortifying "bauld John Barleycorn." Overpowered at last by repeated potations, our hero, dreaming of "Auld Nick," and his cohort of "rigwuddie hags," fell sound asleep upon the stone.

His companions, who had followed him, now came forward. With much shouting and noise, they laid hold of him, one by the head and another by the feet, and carrying him, half-awake, to the burn, dipped him repeatedly, accompanying each immersion with terrific yells. The poor fellow, thinking a whole legion of devils were about him, was almost frightened to death, and roared for mercy so piteously that his tormentors thought proper to desist. No sooner had our hero gained his feet than he rushed up the glen, and ran home, resolving never to drink more, or attempt such a feat again. For many a long day he was ignorant who his tormentors really were.

We stood upon the stone about a week ago. Ivy and moss are slowly mantling over it, a proof that it is some considerable time since the Devil has been rocked on it.

From The Scottish Journal, 1847.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
16th May 2013ce

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