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Barry Hill



On the top of Barry-hill near Alyth in Perthshire.. there was a fort of very great strength..

The tradition of the country, which is probably derived from the fiction of Boyce, relates that this vast strength of Barry-hill was the appropriate prison of Arthur's queen, the well known Guenever, who had been taken prisoner by the Picts.

About a quarter of a mile eastward, on the declivity of the hill, there are some remains of another oval fort, which was defended by a strong wall, and a deep ditch. The same tradition relates, with similar appearance of fiction, that there existed a subterraneous communication between these two British forts, on Barry-hill.
p14 of 'A History of the Highlands and of the Highland Clans' by James Browne (1838), now digitised at Google Books.

Slightly more excitingly than just linking the enclosure with the fort, Angus's 'Forfarshire Illustrated' (1843) suggests the following about the nearby Castle of Inverquiech: Beneath the fragment of the Castle there is a vault, which is popularly believed to be the entrance of a subterraneous passage, which communicates with the old British hill-fort, on the summit of Barry Hill, in the adjoining parish of Alyth.

The New Statistical Account adds a bit more (v10 for Perth, 1845, p1118):
Like other places of the same kind, it is the scene of innumerable legends, which agree in representing it as the residence or prison of the infamous Vanora or Guinevar, who appears in the local traditions under the more homely appellation of Queen Wander, and is generally described as a malignant giantess. This tradition perhaps arose from the vicinity of the celbrated sepulchral stones at Meigle, which are generally considered as the remains of the monument of Vanora..
The Meigle stones are beautifully carved Pictish stones, which are supposed to depict Vanora's unpleasant end, among other things.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
21st October 2007ce
Edited 21st October 2007ce

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