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Barmekin Hill



Ghostly drumming, from Gordon's History of Scots Affairs, from 1638 to 1641, vol i, pp56-68 (1841):
That country is hilly and mountainous, and there is a hill, distant about a mile westward from the manor place of Eycht: the hill bears the name of Duneycht, (or, to write it truly, Dun Picte). Up on the top of this swelling hill.. there are to be seen old ruined walls and trenches, which the people, by a received tradition, affirm to have been built at such a time as the Picts were masters of Marre.

Upon the top of this said hill of Duneight, it was, that, for the space of all the winter [of 1637/8], almost every night, drums were heard beating about four o'clock, the parade or reteering of the guards, their taptoos, their reveilles, and marches, distinctly. And ear witnesses, soldiers of credit, have told me that, when the parade was beating, they could discern when the drummer walked towards them, or when he turned about, as the fashion is for drummers, to walk to and again, upon the head or front of a company drawn up. At such times, also, they could distinguish the marches of several nations; and the first marches that were heard there was the Scottish march; afterward the Irish march was heard, then the English march.

But before these noises ceased, those who had been trained up much of their lives abroad in the German wars, affirmed that they could perfectly, by their hearing, discern the marches upon the drum of several foreign nations of Europe, such as French, Dutch, Danes, etc. These drums were so constantly heard, that all the country people next adjacent were therewith accustomed; and sometimes the drummers were heard off that hill, in places two or three miles distant..

Some gentlemen of known integrity and truth, affirmed that, near these places, they heard as perfect shot of canon go off as ever they heard at the Battle of Norlingen, where themselves, some years before, had been present.
And from 'Douglas's Description of the East Coast of Scotland', p254 (1782):
..over [the Barmkin of Echt] which if tradition may be believed, many armies were seen, many drums heard, adn many an aerial bloodless battle fought, before the troubles in King Charles the First's time.
These are quoted in the notes of 'Illustrations of the Topography and Antiquities of the Shires of Aberdeen and Banff' By Joseph Robertson (1847), which is on Google Books.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
4th August 2007ce
Edited 4th August 2007ce

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