Went up to Chamber today...very difficult to gain access to the area round Cuff Hill, nearly impossible apart from the fact that my companion and I are fairly fit, and were able to climb the 10 ft deer fence surrounding Cuff Hill. The area has been planted with saplings.....no idea who you would approach about entry but talk in the Gateside Pub was that an Irishman owns the land....Good luck ye all...apart from that the area is sublime, water, birds, spring...absolutely beautiful....
I've been puzzling about this, because there must be (or was) a stone called the Deil's Cradle very near to this. I've been scouring the 25" maps without success, though the Wizard's Stone is marked. Yet the WS, with all due respect, doesn't look very exciting. It gets marked, while the infinitely more peculiar sounding Cradle sadly does not. I figure 'Burngrens' below is another version of 'Burngrange', which is on current maps - about a spit from the WS. If you were in the area and took a wander along the burn, you might find the stone yet? There's a Grey (or Gray) Stone marked at Lawhill Farm, which is very close by too. But Coflein declines to comment on any of the three.
The "Deil's Cradle."
On the confines of the parish of Dollar, not far from Hillfoot, the seat of John McArthur Moir, Esq., lies a glen, called Burngrens, watered by a small stream, and planted with numerous large trees. A great number of these, however, have fallen, during the last few years, beneath the unsparing axe; but strong, healthy saplings are rising rapidly to supply their place.
In this glen there is a large stone, of peculiar formation, in every way like a cradle. It is currently believed by the superstitious in the vicinity, that the stone, every Hallowe'en night, is raised from its place, and suspended in the air by some unseen agency, while "Old Sandy," snugly seated upon it, is swung backwards and forwards by his adherents, the witches, until daylight warns them to decamp.
The following rather curious affair is told in connection with the "Cradle:"
One Hallowe'en night a young man, who had partaken somewhat freely of the intoxicating cup, boasted before a few of his companions that he would, unaccompanied, visit the stone. Providing himself with a bottle, to keep his courage up, he accordingly set out. The distance not being great, he soon reached his destination. After a lusty pull at the bottle, he sat down upon the "Cradle," boldly determined to dispute the right of possession, should his Satanic majesty appear to claim his seat. Every rustle of a leaf, as the wind moaned through the glen, seemed to our hero as announcing the approach of the enemy, and occasioned another application to fortifying "bauld John Barleycorn." Overpowered at last by repeated potations, our hero, dreaming of "Auld Nick," and his cohort of "rigwuddie hags," fell sound asleep upon the stone.
His companions, who had followed him, now came forward. With much shouting and noise, they laid hold of him, one by the head and another by the feet, and carrying him, half-awake, to the burn, dipped him repeatedly, accompanying each immersion with terrific yells. The poor fellow, thinking a whole legion of devils were about him, was almost frightened to death, and roared for mercy so piteously that his tormentors thought proper to desist. No sooner had our hero gained his feet than he rushed up the glen, and ran home, resolving never to drink more, or attempt such a feat again. For many a long day he was ignorant who his tormentors really were.
We stood upon the stone about a week ago. Ivy and moss are slowly mantling over it, a proof that it is some considerable time since the Devil has been rocked on it.
Centuries ago, these hills were covered to their very summits with trees, consisting of pine, birch, hazel, but principally oak. Several trunks of this durable wood, black and hard as ebony, have been discovered deeply imbedded in the peat mosses which about there.
Wolves, boars, and other wild animals, were the inhabitants of this forest. Sometimes large troops of them, urged by hunger, left their haunts, and descending to the low grounds, spread devastation and dismay on every hand. Tradition tells of a boar, of huge size, which committed so many depradations, that the people complained to their king (Malcolm Canmore), who appointed a day for a grand hunting match, to destroy the boar.
The King, with a few attendants, took up a position on the top of a hill, still called the "King's Seat," there to await the issue of the hunt, while different parties beat the haunts of the animal. They were about giving up the search as fruitless, when the boar was discovered. Away through the forest dashed pursuers and pursued.
A youth, armed with a bow and quiver, and a short sword, outstripped the rest of the hunters. Three arrows from his hand had already pierced the bristly sides of the boar; but before another could be drawn, it turned upon its pursuer, and rushing towards him, bore him to the ground, inflicting a severe wound upon his breast. It was about to attack him again, when the huntsman drew his sword, and sheathed it in the body of the monster. The thrust was mortal, and it fell.
After cutting off the head of the boar, the youth, all bleeding, made his way to where the King sat - threw the grisly trophy at his feet, and immediately afterwards expired. But, as regards this,
"I cannot tell how the truth may be,
I say the tale as 'twas said to me."
From a name of a farm in the immediate vicinity -- Dunree, in Gaelic Dun-righ, signifying the king's stronghold -- it is inferred that the fort was distinguished by a royal appellative.
[..] In former times, Cassillis Downans was regarded as a favourite haunt of the fairies of Ayrshire, and a popular tradition still exists illustrative of their peculiar attachment to the locality. The old house of Cassillis, it is said, was originally intended to have occupied a site on the top of the hill, but the fairies were so much opposed to this that they invariably demolished at night what had been built during the day -- removing the stones and other material to the spot where the castle now stands -- until the proprietor, convinced of the folly of contending with his invisible opponents, at length gave up the contest.
Possibly a bit late period wise for inclusion here , but the site was close to some major cup and ring markings which were removed in connection with the quarry in the pic . The same fate looks likely for the hillfort .