Archaeologists were left red-faced when an excavation site they believed was a Norse settlement of "national significance" was actually a sunken patio. Experts rushed to the site when amateur archaeologists unearthed a meshwork of massive stones while exploring the ground in their garden... continues...
Scottish Herald - Shan Ross
Builders who were on the brink of using a JCB digger to lay the foundations of a new housing estate have unearthed what may be the richest archaeological find in Scotland. It includes the well-preserved skeleton, sword and valuable adornments of an Iron Age warrior buried with full honours... continues...
About half-a-mile above the old churchyard, in a field by the roadside, are two large upright stones, known as "the Standing Stones of Orwell." They are placed east and west of each other about fifteen yards apart - that to the west is flat, and about six feet in height - the one to the east is of a round form, tapering slightly to the ground, and stands nine feet high. The latter, although still of considerable size, has lost somewhat of its circumference within the last ten years, and, at the present moment, there is a large crack down one side, which, by the action of the weather, will lead to a further diminution of its bulk. It has not been ascertained to what depth these stones are embedded in the earth, but it must be considerable, in order to retain them in the position they occupy.
The common belief is, that these stones are of Danish origin, erected in commemoration of a victory, or to mark the spot where those who had fallen in battle were interred. This supposition is so far countenanced by the fact that a stone coffin, of large size, was found on digging up the space between the stones. Similar coffins have also been turned up in the same field, and, ten or twelve years ago, the ground was dug up in several places by a neighbouring proprietor, when large quantities of bones, much decomposed and mixed with charcoal, were discovered.
[...] Plausible as this [Danish] theory is, it nevertheless can scarcely be supposed that the Danes would be disposed to waste so much time in their marauding incursions, as the conveyance and erection of these stones would require, and the more especially as, during the time that they were so employed, they would be constantly exposed to the attacks of th enatives, who would be afforded ample time to gather in force, and who by no means relished the presence of such visitors. Moreover, had these been Danish monuments, they would, in all probability, have been overturned by the natives the moment that the invaders turned their backs. The most probable conclusion is , that both these stones, and those at Lundin, which are of much greater height, formed part of Druidic circles, and it is only by adopting some such conclusion that we can account for their preservation to the present time.
20/11/2011 - We left the car at Knockhill racing track car park (non race day). Made our way over Knock Hill to the hillfort on Saline Hill. There is not much to see of the fort but the weather was pretty terrible to be honest, low cloud and raining, so we probably missed the better bits (if there are any?). Cloud lifted and it stopped raining as we got down off the hill as it always seems to do with us.
About two miles west of St. Andrews, on the estate of Mount Melville, there is a conglomerate boulder 8 by 6 by 3 feet, pretty well rounded. It has been lodged on the bank of a valley, which bank faces the west... The nearest conglomerate rock is distant many miles to the north-west. There is a legend connected with this boulder as follows:
At the time St. Regulus built the Four Knockit steeple at St. Andrews, there lived a giant at Drumcarro Crags, a hill situated about five miles to the west; he was enraged at seeing this building rising up, and he resolved to demolish it, - so, having found a large stone, he borrowed his mother's apron to use it as a sling for the stone in order to hurl it against the new building. But when in the act of throwing it, the apron burst under the weight of the stone, and it fell short of the object at which it was aimed and rested on the bank where it now lies.
This legend receives geological confirmation in the circumstance that Drumcarro Crags bear about W.N.W. from the boulder, and judging by the situation of the nearest conglomerate rock, that was the direction from which the boulder must have come.
(Mount Melville is at NO483147, though I don't know if the hurled stone is still there). The story is collected in 'County Folklore VII - Fife' (1914).
The stones in the story fell very close to the fort here. They're not even mentioned on the 25" map. But you'd like to hope one might survive yet.
The De'il's Stane. Waltonhill.
Once upon a time, so runs the legend, Samson challenged the devil to match him at boulder throwing. As challenger, Samson stood on the West Lomond; Satan stood on the East. The signal was given; two mighty rocks whistled through the air. "The De'il's stane" fell where it now lies, on the road-side about a quarter of a mile west from Waltonhill Farm. Samson, though handicapped by three miles greater distance, flung his stone fully four hundred yards beyond that of Satan, and with such force that it split into three parts; which parts are now built into Waltonhill barn.
From the Fife Herald and Journal 1st November 1905, but collected here in the Folklore Society's collection from Fife.
The Blue Stone of Crail.
This large blue stone, measuring about four feet in diameter, lies in the open space in front of the now disused east school, at the corner of the street, and about thirty yards south from the churchyard gate.
The legend runs that the arch-fiend, bearing some especial grudge against the church of Crail, took his stand upon the Isle of May, and thence threw a huge rock at the building. The missile, however, split during its flight into two pieces, of which the smaller one (bearing the impress of his satanic majesty's thumb) kept its intended course, falling but a few yards short of the church, while the other larger portion slanted off to the east and lit upon Balcomie sands - both fragments remaining to this day (thumb mark and all), to give ocular demonstration of the truth of the story.