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Standing Stone / Menhir


This stone probably does not have anything to do with this story: you'd imagine you'd want one more horizontal for balancing milk in. But it being (as the RCAHMS record strongly states) 'one of the most impressive standing stones in Lorn', it surely has added to the Respect for Stones in the area. The Acharra stone is a hefty 3.7m high with a pointy tip. It's about a mile from Achadh nan Darach.
The being which attached herself to the farm-house of Achindarroch (Acha-nan-darach, field of oaks) in Glenduror, Appin, Argyleshire, was variously known as the Glaistig and as the Gruagach of Glenduror. She attended to the cattle, and took particular charge of keeping the calves from the cows at night. She followed the house (not the family), and was alive not many years ago. A portion of the milk was poured out for her every evening on a stone called Clach na Glaistig (the Glaistig stone), and once this was neglected by a new tenant, the calves were found next morning with the cows.

Her face was described by those who professed to have seen her, as being like a grey stone overgrown with lichens. A servant girl, going on a dark evening to draw water from a stream flowing past the house, was asked by her fellow-servants if she was not afraid of the Glaistig. In her reply she spoke contemptuously of that being, and on her way to the stream received a slap on the cheek that twisted her head to one side. The following evening, going on the same errand, she got a slap on the other cheek that put her head right.
From p162 of 'Superstitions of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland' by John Gregorson Campbell (1900), where you can read more about this type of creature, associated with various Scottish locations (and generally with similar Gruagach stones for milk).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
18th April 2011ce
Edited 18th April 2011ce

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