|Until earlier this year, the area of land immediately surrounding the Airthrey stone was a grassy, gently sloping and undulating field, which was outside the develoed area of the university campus on the edge of a golf course.
Two years ago, the University lodged an application to develop this land into rugby pitches. The original plans did not even refer to the stone.
After protests, the plans were altered and the stone was to be "protected" inside a tacky, fenced off, platformed viewing area. Thankfully the platform didn't happen.
What did happen though was that, because of the sensitive nature of the site, the local council referred the plans to the Scottish Executive and then after a few months, and without any public announcement, the work to flatten the land started earlier this year. Thousands of tons of earth and rock were spirit-levelled in the land around the stone, irrepairably taking this monument's immediate landscape from it. Now it stands, fenced off between the ironed flat pitches on one side and a golf course on the other.
Stirling University has both a history and an environmental science dept.!!?
What do you do when your spirit has been levelled by the hard, cold, yellow bastards (and I dont mean the JCB's)?
You do what the Airthrey stone does - keep standing!
And it does, all of 15ft high and 9 ft. wide. It still has the Abbey Craig to the south and the Ochils on the north east for support - and the sun and the moon and the stars - and us.
Posted by winterjc
21st November 2001ce