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

Murthly Castle

Standing Stone / Menhir


Near Murthly, north of Perth, there is a standing stone of which the tradition is that a man brave enough to move it would find a chest with a black dog sitting on it, guarding it. it is said that the schoolmaster's sons once shifted the stone with gunpowder but were terrified by the dog so put the stone back again. Katherine Briggs gives this

'on the authority of the Rev. Routledge Bell, who had it from one of his parishioners.'

The stone to which the tradition refers is probably Murthly Castle Standing Stone, Little Dunkeld. It is unusual to find a dog among supernatural treasure-guardians which are far more often birds, including eagles, and black cocks or hens, although the fairytale The Tinderbox features three guardian dogs, each progressively larger until the third has

'eyes as big as mill-wheels'

The colour black is generally the sign of a diabolic presence, but in England phantom Black Dogs could sometimes perform a protective function to travellers on lonely roads.

The Lore Of Scotland - A Guide To Scottish Legends

Westwood & Kingshill
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
15th March 2024ce
Edited 15th March 2024ce

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