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

Torr a Chaistell

Stone Fort / Dun


The next fort we meet in our ramble is that of Tor-Castle - Castle Hill - a little to the north of Slaodridh [..]

It is said that a battle was fought long ago around the Tor-Castle, between the natives of Arran and a band of marauders from Kintyre. The Arran men were encouraged to victory by the cheers of their wives and children, who crowded the Clappen Hill to witness the conflict. After a desperate struggle the invaders were repulsed, and forced to seek safety in their ships.

Tor-Castle is further remarkable for the existence of ancient plough-marks, popularly known as elf-furrows, which are clearly traceable over it summit. Tradition relates that the rich black mould of the mound tempted the natives to reduce it to cultivation. This was many years ago, when the old rig system of farming obtained in the Island.

The lands of the neighbourhood were partitioned between twelve families, each of which claimed a rig of the Castle Hill. The mound was cleared of the rich verdure which mantled its surface, and drills of cabbages were planted within the ruined walls. But a signal retribution followed the commission of this daring sacrilege. Before the year closed, the children of the hamlet were fatherless, and eleven new graves were seen in the little church-yard of the district.

The villager who escaped had been called to another part of the Island when the old building was being turned into a household garden, and thereby avoided the doom which befell his companions. The people of Arran still regard the old fortlet with a superstitious dread, and he is thought to have a bold heart who will venture to disturb its ruins or visit them after nightfall.
p82 of 'The antiquities of Arran' by John McArthur (1861).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
20th August 2007ce

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