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Airthrey Stone

Standing Stone / Menhir

<b>Airthrey Stone</b>Posted by greywetherImage © greywether
Nearest Town:Bridge Of Allan (3km WNW)
OS Ref (GB):   NS814965 / Sheet: 57
Latitude:56° 8' 46.87" N
Longitude:   3° 54' 32.98" W

Added by winterjc


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<b>Airthrey Stone</b>Posted by greywether <b>Airthrey Stone</b>Posted by Catmc <b>Airthrey Stone</b>Posted by winterjc <b>Airthrey Stone</b>Posted by winterjc <b>Airthrey Stone</b>Posted by winterjc

Fieldnotes

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I was a student at Stirling in the mid 90's before the recent unnecessary developments around Airthrey stone (which I didn't know about until reading about it on this site). The arable land that surrounded it then was a really quiet place way away from the bustle of the campus and I often tramped up there after mind numbing lectures to chill or with friends to take in the atmosphere. I recall approaching it for the first time with my cosmic mate (Steve Moffat where are you now?) during one frosty starry autumn night and stopping in our tracks, such is its presence. I hope other students can still appreciate its magic as my friends and I did. Posted by Mr B
21st December 2001ce

This broad 15 foot stone has a presence and a strength in the area of low lying land between the Ochil Hills to the north, and the Abbey Craig to the South.
It sits in the grounds of the University of Stirling (in the old Airthrey Castle estate-the Castle is just 300m to the north), at the side of some newly seeded rugby pitches, with a golf course nearby.
The stone's existence was threatened recently (see misc. section) but survives now, still strong, between the golfers on it's immediate west and the rugger bugger's touchlines on the east.
The Abbey Craig, 500m to the south and Dumyat Hill (Ochils) 2.5km to the north east, seem to be important to the siting of this stone.
Posted by winterjc
21st November 2001ce

Folklore

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It is believed by some historians that the Airthrey stone played a part in the birth of the Scottish nation around 860AD. Kenneth MacAlpin is believed to have gathered his west coast, celtic army at the stone, before defeating a north eastern Pictish army. This was the most important in a series of battles, in a power struggle which ended when MacAlpin was crowned the first king of the new, united Scotland.
Other stones in the area were reported to be used as standard, or gathering points before important battles at different times. (The Randolphfield stones during the battle of Bannockburn in 1314 and the Sherriffmuir stone row, before Wallace's Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 and the Jacobite Battle of Sherriffmuir in 1715).
Posted by winterjc
21st November 2001ce

Miscellaneous

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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