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

Green Cairn



The large Iron Age ring fort of Green Castle, otherwise known as Queen's Castle or Finella's Castle, is said to have been the site of an early medieval fortress, seat of the maomor or 'great officer' of the Mearns. Here, it was said, Kenneth III was assassinated towards the end of the tenth century. The antiquarian Robert Chambers, writing in 1827, gives an account of the murder drawn from the fourteenth- and fifteenth-century chronicles:

Having excited the implacable hatred of a powerful lady, named Fenella, by killing her son in a rebellion, she put on a courteous face, and invited him to her castle, where she had prepared a singular engine, for the purpose of putting him to death. Under pretence of amusing him with the architectural elegance of her mansion, she conducted him to the upper apartment of a tall tower, where, in the midst of splendid drapery and curious sculptures, she had planted a statue of brass, holding a golden apple. This apple, she told him, was designed as a present for his majesty, and she courteously invited him to take it from the hand of the image. No sooner had the king done this, then some machinery was set in motion, which, acting upon an ambuscade of crossbows behind the arras, caused a number of arrows to traverse the apartment, by one of which killed the king.

Fenella left the castle before the murder was discovered by the king's attendants, who broke down the door and found their master weltering in his blood.

It was said that Fenella made for another castle of hers at a wild place on the coast called, Den-Fenella. Being pursued, she concealed herself amongst the branches of the trees, and as thick forest stretched all the way from one castle to the other, she was able to swing herself along for a distance of about ten miles, and pass over the very heads of her bewildered pursuers. Different accounts can be found of what happened to her after that: some say she was captured and burned, some that she was at last brought to bay near Lauriston Castle, where she chose death over captivity and threw herself from the crags onto the rocks beneath, while a third version holds that she escaped to Ireland.

The Lore Of Scotland - A Guide To Scottish Legends

Westwood & Kingshill
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
14th February 2024ce

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