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

The Gouch Stone (destroyed?)

Standing Stone / Menhir


The Gouch or Gouk Stone is a large shapeless block of granite, on the north-east of Caskieben, erected (as is said in the last Statistical Account,) to commemorate the death of a general of that name who was slain near it. The tradition in respect to this stone is now forgotten, and it was even with some little difficulty that its site could be ascertained.

The Quaich* Stone, built into a low wall near the same place, has no particular marks by which it might be distinguished, and the origin of its name is entirely unknown.
From p122/123 of the New Statistical Account of Scotland, v12, (Aberdeen), 1845. Online at Google Books.
(*A 'quaich' seems to be a two-handled Scottish drinking vessel, fwiw.)

Now, a 1961 visit found the stone at NJ 8375 1307, and the RCAHMS record says: "Standing isolated in a field is a large, almost triangular shaped stone. It is 1.5m tall, 1.5m wide and 0.9m thick, it bears no markings."

But now the plot thickens. This is all a bit confusing. I feel justified in adding it because it's mentioned as a standing stone on the current OS map. Yet the RCAHMS record claims it's not there at all now, and neither is the wall it was near (nor the other stone mentioned, one assumes - but at least this suggests we're in the right place).

Also, they give their suspicions it was a rubbing stone for cattle, saying is not actually depicted on either the 1st or 2nd edition of the OS 6-inch maps (1869 or 1901) and "was probably erected.. in comparatively modern times."

But. The original Statistical Account is talking about it in the 1790s, and it's still there in the 1840s. Ok that's "comparatively modern times" - but why would it have a name? In fact, why would two stones (one in a wall??) get names. You don't give names to rubbing stones you put up two minutes ago, surely. RCAHMS usually take the Statistical Accounts into er, account. But they haven't in this case, which is unusual and this is surely the same location.

I even wonder if it's still there. After all, it tried to evade capture in 1845 - perhaps it was just off somewhere when someone turned up last time, as some stones are apt to do. Maybe I'm wrong and hopelessly misled. Maybe it was a cattle rubbing stone that is long gone. But it's still interesting.

I think this is in the wrong place, because Caskieben = Keith Hall, at Inverurie. Yet it is mentioned in the chapter about Dyce. Oh I am confused.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
10th June 2007ce
Edited 27th November 2009ce

Comments (1)

The Gouk stane is still there, indeed if you follow the multimap link from this page, and then head north a grid square or two, you will see it. I drive past it on the way to Blackburn and it's clearly visible on the hill, and is indeed triangular.

I shall have to have a look at the stone that you have given the grid ref for (which I presume is the quaich stone) but it's harder to get to. Throw in the destroyed circle under the churchyard at Kinellar, Tyrebagger on the other side of the hill, and a line of standing stones and (now destroyed) circles leading through Kintore and to the great henge at Inverurie and it's quite an area.....
Chris Posted by Chris
18th September 2007ce
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