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The History of Brechin to 1864
Chapter I. The History of Brechin to the Year 1260


The origin of the city of Brechin, like that of most other burghs, is involved in much obscurity. The oldest document belonging to the burgh, of which we have the exact words, is a charter by William the Lion, who reigned between 1165 and 1214, confirming to the bishops and Keldeis of the church of Brechin a right of market on Sundays, as formerly granted by David I., and that “ as freely as the Bishop of St Andrews holds a market” The original of the charter by King William is lost, but the precise words of it are found in various attested transumpts, and we give a copy of the deed in our Appendix, No. I. Now, as David I. died in 1153, we may fairly infer that Brechin was a place of some note, if not a royal burgh, as we think it was, in the twelfth century. Authorities differ considerably as to what constitutes a royal burgh. The late Mr Thomas Thomson, advocate, the famous antiquarian, Deputy-Clerk-Register for Scotland, and to whom mainly we owe our present excellent arrangements for the keeping of the public records, in his introduction to the report of the commissioners appointed to inquire into the state of municipal corporations in ‘Scotland in 1835, says, (page 9): “The origin and state of the burghs of Scotland, in common with those of our other political establishments, are unfortunately involved in all the obscurity arising necessarily from the absence or loss of contemporaneous and authentic documents.” And again: “David I., whose reign of nearly thirty years terminated in 1153, has been commonly regarded their chief, if not their first founder.” “And although there is not now to be found any charter of erection granted by that monarch in favour of any burgh royal, there exists in the chartularies of religious houses, and in other authentic records, numerous grants of property to bishops and abbots, which are described as situated in particular burghs.” Mr Cosmo Innes, advocate, one of the principal clerks of the Court of Session, and Professor of History in Edinburgh College, in his preface to the first volume of the folio edition of the Scots Acts, page 6, says: “Among the marks of rapid improvement and civilisation which distinguished the reign of David I., the most important was the recognition of the privileges of free burghs. There can be no doubt that communities existed in the towns of Scotland, supported by mutual confederation, at a much earlier period ; and indeed here, as in other countries, a part of our burghal institutions can be traced up, with much probability, through the free towns of the Continent, to the Municipia, which survived the downfall of the empire. But it was under this wise prince that the burghs of Scotland took their place as recognised members of the body politic of a feudal kingdom. Their voluntary incorporation was legalised They became tenants in capite of the Crown, and from that period yielded a large proportion of the revenue of the country, whether as rent of the tenements within burgh, or as custom levied on their merchandise. Their increasing consequence was aided by the organisation of an assembly for treating their common affairs. Long before the principle of representation can be distinguished elsewhere, the burghs of Scotland sent delegates to a court of their own, where they framed laws for their common government, and reviewed decisions of individual burgh courts; a burgher parliament, which, though now become insignificant, long continued under its successive characters of the Court or Convention of Burghs, one of the most remarkable of the peculiar institutions of Scotland. In that assembly probably were voted and assessed the taxes which the burghs contributed to the necessities of the state. We know, indeed, that they joined in the aids and public contributions from a very early period; and it seems more probable that the burgesses met for that purpose in their own court, than that their attendance in the national councils during a whole century should have been unnoticed by the contemporary chroniclers, and in all the vestiges of parliamentary proceedings that remain to us.” The regular series of the records of the Convention of Royal Burghs does not commence till 1552, and even then the records are very incomplete ; but we find Brechin represented at a meeting of the Convention held at Dundee on 18th September 1555, and although Brechin, like many other burghs, was negligent in sending representatives regularly to the Convention, and in October 1572 was, along with other absent burghs, fined in 10 for contumacy in not attending a meeting held at Stirling, still Brechin continued from time to time to send representatives to Convention, as the volume of records of that body, edited by Mr J. D. Marwick, the learned town-clerk of Edinburgh, and lately pub* lished by the Convention, proves. Brechin also was regularly assessed in its share of the public assessments; thus in 1535, Brechin has to pay 56, 5s. as her proportion of the 5000 merks allocated on the burghs of the extent of 20,000 granted by the three estates for sustaining James V.’s expenses in France, and bo on downwards, as is shown by extracts from the Council Records of Edinburgh, printed by Mr Marwick in the Convention volume alluded to. A royal burgh, then, does not appear to have been a corporation constituted by any special grant raising it to that dignity, but a place of some importance in itself, recognised by a royal grant of some peculiar right, as the right of market granted by David I. to Brechin. Previous to 1153, Brechin was undoubtedly a place of some importance. Kenneth III. is said in 990 to have given Brechin to the Church, and is described as “Hie est qui tribuit magnum civitatem Brechne domino.” Hector Bcece, under the reign of Malcolm II., (1001-1031,) represents the Danes as assailing “Brethenum vetua Pictonrum oppidum,” and states that their leader, having failed in taking the citadel, “infesto agmine in oppidum et sanctissimum templum ruit; que ccede, ruinis ac incendijs ita diruit, ut oppidum exinde pristinum dccus nunquam recuperarit. Veteris vero fani prieter turrim quandam rotundam mira arte constructam nullum ad nostra secula remanserit vestigium."— Scotorum Historice, lib. ix. All this, we think, warrants our assertion as to the importance of Brechin in the twelfth century, if not earlier, and we are decidedly of opinion that Brechin was one of the royal burghs recognised as created by David I. in or about 1150, as has been generally reported.

The Keldeis or Culdees referred to in the charter by King William were Christian pastors brought into Britain in the sixth century by St Columba. Of their origin, of their name, their doctrine, or their church government, we know extremely little on any authority. Dr Reeves in his essay on the Culdees, exhaustive and learned, but possibly prejudiced, published in the volume of the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy for 1864, derives the name from Servus Dei, the Servant of God, translated by the Irish into their Celtic compound of Cele De and re-Latinised into Caledeus and Kele-deus. In Gaelic, Gille Dhe means Servant of God, and is just as likely, we think, an original for the word Culdee, as the twice Latinised words of Dr Reeves. The learned doctor contends that the Culdees of Scotland were no particular body, but clergy generally; the name “ sometimes/* he says, (page 120,) “borne by hermits, sometimes by conventuals; in one situation implying the condition of celibacy, in another understood of married men; here denoting regulars, there seculars; some of the name bound by obligations of poverty, others free to accumulate property; at one period high in honour as implying self-denial, at another regarded with contempt as the designation of the loose and worldly-minded.” Be all this as it may, it is certain that the Culdees did not use images in their worship, and that their practices did not accord with those of the Church of Rome. The Culdees are stated to have had a convent in Brechin, and to have got a grant of the town of Brechin from King Kenneth III., A.D. 990. We never saw the grant, nor any satisfactory evidence that it ever existed; but we find that “Leod, Abbe de Breichin,” is witness, along with bishops and other great officials, to a grant made by King David I. to his new Abbey of Dunfermline, and it is thus inferred that the Culdees had an establishment in Brechin at or prior to 1150. This convent is believed to have stood a little to the west of the present parish church, in the gardens now belonging to the kirk-session, still called the “ College Yards.” A small well of delightfully pure water in these gardens receives the name of the College Well, and is reported by tradition to have been the well of the Culdee convent. The last mention of the Culdees in Brechin is in a deed granted about 1218; but Mr David Miller in his “ Arbroath and its Abbey” tells us, (page 32,) that in 1219, “ John Abbe, the son of Malise,” (whom he infers to be a direct descendant of Abbot Leod,) “ made a grant to Arbroath of firewood from his woods of Edzell, for the salvation of himself, his ancestors, and heirs,”—rather an ominous gift We may mention that the Latin word translated “ salvation ” by Mr Miller is by some held rather to mean “ safety.” Leod, the Abbot just alluded to, appears to have left his property and his office (and probably the surname of Abbot) to his descendants; for Donald, grandson of Leod, gifted certain lands to the monks- of Arbroath for the good of the souls of his father Samson, and of himself and his heirs, while the prior of the Culdees is a witness to the grant—Miller, page 32. Mr Cosmo Innes, in his “ Sketches of Early Scottish History,” says, page 156,—“ Towards the end of the reign of William the Lion, we find an infusion of other clerks in the chapter, (of Brechin,) the prior of the convent of Culdees, however, being still the president In 1248, the last year of the reign of Alexander IL, the Culdees have disappeared altogether, and the affairs of the cathedral are managed in the ordinary modem form by the dean and chapter.” Dr Beeves states that the Culdees disappeared from history in 1332. The Church of Rome was too strong for the Culdees. David I., under the influence of Robert, the “English Bishop of St Andrews, gave to the canons of St Andrews the Culdee island of Lochleven, that they might establish canonical order there; and declared that the Keledei who chose to live as regulars might remain, but that should any of them resist, his will and pleasure was that they should be expelled from the island—an injunction which the bishop was not slow in carrying out; for he immediately placed the Keledei in subjection to the canons regular, and took possession of their vestments and libraiy, of which a list is given in the Register of the Priory of St Andrews, page 51. The persecution thus begun at Lochleven Feems to have been systematically continued throughout Scotland, till the Culdees disappear altogether. In Brechin, by 1248, as stated by Mr Innes, we find the affairs of the diocese managed in the usual Episcopal form by dean and chapter, and the Keldeis altogether gone out of view.

It has been generally reported that the Episcopal 8ee of Brechin was endowed by David I. in 1150, but Dr Beeves is of opinion that he merely added a bishop to the existing society of Culdees, and that previously the country was wholly monastic, and dioceses and parishes unknown. Mr Cosmo Innes is of the same opinion; and in his “ Sketches of Early Scotch History” says, page 86,—It was the fate of the ancient Columbite foundations in Scotland to disappear under the reforming vehemence of David I., the most zealous of Romanists, who raised on the ruins of many a primeval monastery his grand establishments of Augustinian canons or benedictines, or converted their convents into the chapters of his new Episcopal dioceses.” It is certain, however, that Samson, or rather Sansane, was bishop of the city of Brechin during the reign of Malcolm IV., (1153-1165,) for the name occurs frequently in charters granted by that monarch. Pope Honorius III. in a bull dated in 1218, arranges the Episcopal sees of the Scottish Church in this order, —“St Andrews, Dumblane, Glasgow, Dunkeld, Brechin, Aberdeen, Murray, Ross, and Caithness.” (See Chalmers's “Registrum Episcopatus Brechinensis,” vol. ii. page 387.) We give a list of all the bishops of Brechin in our Appendix, No. II.

Of the Druids, who preceded the Culdees as the ministers of religion in Scotland, and who are said to have had an establishment in Brechin, little is known that can be relied on, and that little merely from the incidental mention of these priests by the Roman generals in their Commentaries on the Roman Wars in Britain. The Druids were of various ranks and orders, and over the whole there was one supreme head or arch-Druid. They were not only the priests but the judges and physicians of the people. They had two sets of religious doctrines; one known to the commonalty, the other only to the initiated; and it is supposed that they taught the immortality of the soul. The word

Druidh in Gaelic means wise man or magician, and this character they appear to have kept up by all means in their power. Considerable doubts now exist, whether the religion of the Druids was of the bloody character once imputed to it, and whether the circles called Druid circles—the immense one at Stonehenge in England, the large one called the Standing Stones of Stennis in Orkney, and the smaller ones found in almost every district of Scotland—were really temples, or in any way connected with Druidical worship. Till within the last fifty years, there was a circle of the description alluded to in the Muir of Leighton-hill, the vestiges of which are still to be discerned from the surrounding heath, by the smooth grass and wild flowers growing on the gently rising slope, which overlooks a great extent of ground around, and commands a splendid view of the Grampians and adjoining country. At Colmeallie, in Edzell, there is such a circle, and at Gilfumman of Glenesk there was a rocking stone, all imputed to the Druids. But whether these stones and circles were connected with the worship of the Druids, or whether the larger enclosures were not rather courts for the administration of justice, and places of assemblage of the people when framing new or altering old laws, like the Tings amongst the Norsemen, it is certain the Druids had places of worship in groves, chiefly planted of oaks, and that they paid great veneration to the mistletoe, a parasitical plant that fixes itself on many, trees, but was only respected by the Druids when found growing on the oak.

The Culdee teachers brought to Scotland by Columba succeeded, in process of time, in expelling the Druids, the priests of the ancient Scots; and if we allow ourselves to believe that the Culdees did to the Druids, their predecessors, as was done to the Culdees by their successors, the priests of the Church of Rome, and subsequently to these priests by the teachers of the reformed doctrine, then, without much stretch of imagination, we can conceive that the .site of the present Presbyterian church of Brechin was the place of worship successively of Druids, Culdees, Romanists, Episcopalians, and Presbyterians. Nor is there anything in the situation of the church of Brechin opposed to the idea that it was originally a Druidical temple. The church stands on a sandstone rock, the sides of which are precipitous on the south and east; and while the western side slopes more gently, the northern side appears to have been a deep ravine; for every excavation made on that side proves that the earth, to a very great depth, is forced or artificial. Such an isolated rock presented a fit site for the worship of the Druids; and the dells around may then have been clad, as some of them still are clothed, with umbrageous trees, the castle and town of Brechin being, in the days of the Druids, both alike unknown. Whether such a succession of religious orders did or did not occur on the little mount which for ages has been the burying-place of the inhabitants of Brechin, it is impossible positively to say; but there is nothing in the supposition inconsistent with what has occurred amongst other nations which have undergone changes in their religious dynasties—the newly established order having generally selected the places of worship of the expelled party for the site of the new churches or altara

The derivation of the name of the town, like the origin of the burgh, is the subject of much doubt. In the oldest document which we have seen, the name is spelled exactly as it is now written—Brechin; and .the various orthographies of Brychine, Brechyne, Breychin, Brechyne, Brychin, Brichein, Brichine, Brechyn, Brechene, Brechine, and Brichen, which may occasionally be found, do not throw any additional light on the origin of the name.

From the connexion which existed between the Culdees and the town of Brechin, and the probability that this body succeeded a Druidical establishment at Brechin, an opinion has been hazarded that the name of the place is to be looked for from some such source; and as it appears that in the days of St Columba there was a noted Druid of the name of Broichan or Boerchan, it has been suggested that probably the Culdees, when they expelled the Druids, bestowed on the place the name of the chief person previously connected with it. #The Druids have furnished another theory equally plausible for the name of our burgh, and it is this:—The island of Anglesey is well known to have been the principal station of the Druids in the southern part of Great Britain, but from this island the Druids were expelled by the Bomans in the year 61, while Nero was emperor.' The Druids, who were thus driven from their principal station, fled into Caledonia, Ireland, and the lesser British isles, carrying with them, of course, the rites and ceremonies of their religion, as well as the laws and customs of their community which they had formerly used. In Anglesey there are yet the remains of a rude throne or tribunal, composed of earth and stones, which belonged to the arch-Druid, and which is called Bryngwyn or Breingwyn, that is, the Supreme or Royal Tribunal. The analogy of this word Brein-gwyn to Bre-chin, leads the supporters of this theory to assert that either the arch-Druid expelled from Anglesey had taken refuge here, and hence given the name of a royal tribunal to this place, or that Brechin was always the supreme tribunal of the Druids in North Britain— Anglesey being their capital in South Britain, and Dreux the capital of the sect in Gaul. Pretty nearly allied to this is still another theory, that Brechin was the principal seat of justice to the Druids, and thence called Brehon, or the Judger, a word identical with the name of those judges and laws so often mentioned in the histories of Ireland. Certainly the numerous Druidical remains still to be found in the vicinity of Brechin— the circle at Easter Pitforthie—the temple at Barrelwell or Pit-pullox, of which only one stone now stands—the erection at Vane of Fearn—the Law or Mound on the farm of Hilton of Fearn, and several other similar structures—go to prove that the Druids were a powerful body in this quarter—independent of the conclusions arrived at by Mr Huddleston in his edition of Toland's History of the Druids, that the three farms close upon Brechin called Pittendriech, are identical with Pit-an-druach, the burial-place of the Druids.

The apparent similarity of the words Brechin and Brein-gwyn, royal tribunal, has given rise to another speculation regarding the name of the town, founded upon a tradition—for it scarce deserves a better name, if it is even entitled to that appellation— that Brechin was the capital of Pictavia and the seat of the Pictish kings, the round tower, so conspicuous an appendage of the church, having (as this tradition bears) been built for a lookout by this nation, while the hill of Caterthun, about four miles to the north of the town, surrounded with an immense coronal of loose stones, is reported to have been a fortification belonging to that ancient nation; and hence called Caither-Dun, the City Hill or Fort. The same tradition states that the parish of Men-muir, in which this hill is situated, derived the name of Main-muir, the Stone Wall or Fort, from the erection on Caterthun, and that Stracathro, the parish immediately adjoining to Brechin on the east, was called from its locality Strath-Cath-rach, the City-Strath. In the oldest charters the name of this parish is spelt Strathcatherach, which some hold to imply Strath-Cath-Re, that is, the Field or Valley of Slaughter of the Kings. Our Gaelic friends, however, with whom we have advised, will not recognise any of the translations we have given, except that of Strath, a valley, generally taking its name from a river that runs through it; and we therefore dismiss this Pictavian theory as altogether fanciful.

Other antiquarians pretend, and certainly with as much apparent authority, to deduce the word Brechin from a Gaelic term signifying a sloping bank, and descriptive of the site of the town, which is placed on the face of a brae, and they give us Brica as the Gaelic word which is thus so descriptive; but for our own part we must admit we have never been able to find any Gaelic scholar who knew the word Brica as a Gaelic term.

In the “Historical and Descriptive Notes of the City of Cork,” published by J. Windele, Esq., in 1840, we find mention of a property called Ballybricken belonging to D. Connor, Esq., and on page 329 we have this paragraph, “Brickeen Island, i.e., Bric-in, the place of small trout, lies between Dinis and Mucross." Our piscatory friends, we have no doubt, will adopt the Irish gentlemans Bricin, and contend that Dinis is just Dun, and Mucross, Monros or Montrose, and that Brechin derives its name from the par in the South Esk.

Amidst these contending authorities, we think ourselves warranted, if not indeed bound, to offer a theory of our own. Brechin lies on the banks of the Esk, where that river is confined between the high grounds of Burghill on the south and the high grounds of Brechin on the north and west-To the east the land on each side of the river presents a gradual slope or fall with some excellent carse ground dose on the banks of the river. Looking from Brechin down the Esk towards Montrose, the observer has before him a beautiful little strath or valley, of which the high grounds of Brechin are the head or western end Brecon in Wales is, we have been informed, similarly situated at the head of the vale of the Usk after it is joined by the river Hondey. Most readers are aware that Usk, Uisk, Uisge, and Esk signify the same thing in Gaelic, namely, water. Every person, we think, must be struck by the feet of two towns so remote from each other, and yet approximating so near in name, being so similarly situated as are Brecon in Wales, at the head and on the sloping banks of a valley through which runs the river Usk, and Brechin in Scotland, at the head of a strath through which runs the river Esk, and on the side of a brae sloping towards it. Now we find that in Gaelic Bruach Abhainne means the bank or brink of a river, and hence we are inclined to infer comes the words Bruchaine, Brechin, and Brecon. We state this not on our own authority, but on that of an old friend and shopmate—a true-born Gael, and a person of education, having been intended for The Church. In the parish of Livingston and county of Linlithgow there is a small river called the Breich, with sloping banks, which would go still further to confirm this theory of the origin of the name of Brechin. Mr Andrew Jervise, in his able work the “ Memorials of Angus and Mearns,” published in 1861, says, in a note on page 129,—“ The Gaelic Braigh-chein signifies a Hilly Brae, and is quite descriptive of the situation of the town of Brechin.”

Some of our readers may be inclined to cry with the love-sick Juliet, “What’s in a name?” but if these will take the trouble to read the ingenious “Inquiry into the Origin of the word Brechin,” furnished us years ago by a learned friend, and which is subjoined in the Appendix, they will find that there is much in a name; and if they are not instructed, we think they will be amused by the speculation to which the name Brechin has given rise.

The town of Brechin was burned by the Danes in 1012, during the reign of Malcolm IL Of course no traces of this conflagration now exist, and little is known of the mischief then done except the simple fact that the town was burned by the Danes.

But a natural inference arises that the place was then of some consequence, otherwise the Danes would not have wasted their time and attention upon it. In this view, it may not be uninteresting to remark on the circumstances which led to this early conflagration of the burgh. Sueno, son of Harold king of Denmark, being banished from home, came to Scotland, where, having become, or pretended to become, a convert to Christianity, he received a few forces, with which he returned and regained his kingdom. Reinstated in power, Sueno immediately invaded England; and because his old friends and allies the Scots opposed this invasion, he sent Olave and Enick, two of his generals, with a powerful army into Scotland. After various battles, in which sometimes the Scots, sometimes the Danes, were victorious, Enick was slain, and Olave with the remainder of his troops was driven into Morayshire. Upon the news being carried to Sueno in England, he despatched a reinforcement under the command of Camus, who landed his troops at the Redhead, and pitched his camp at Panbride or St Bride. There he was attacked and defeated by the Scots. The Danes then attempted to retreat in three divisions to join their friends under Olave in Moray. One division under Camus was cut off, and he and all his followers were destroyed near the village of Carnoustie, where an obelisk still serves to preserve the memory of this victory, called Camiston Cross; and where the traces of a camp may yet be seen on the side of a burn, by some called a Roman camp, by others a Danish camp, but popularly styled “ Norway Dikes.” Another division of the defeated army retreated by Brechin, and in their progress northward burned that town, but they too were attacked and cut off, and the “standing stones/' as they are called, in the parish of Aberlemno, are supposed to record this event, and to mark the grave of the general who led this second division. The third division, again, which had retreated to their ships, landed on the coast of Buchan, where they also were destroyed by Moman, Thane of the county. Sueno, not disheartened by his repeated calamities, sent his son Canute with a new army into Scotland, who, after fighting a severe battle in Buchan, concluded a treaty with Malcolm, the conditions of which were that the Danes should leave Scotland, and that neither of the nations should make war on the other, or give assistance to the enemies of the other, during the lives of Malcolm or Sueno. One most important result seems to have attended this contest. Upon its conclusion, Malcolm divided all the royal lands amongst his nobles, and established various new titles of nobility,— “magis ad vanam ambitionem quam ad ullum usum,” Buchanan observes.

This digression may be pardoned, because slight as the connexion of Brechin is with this Danish invasion, it is an important era in early history. Perhaps it is only continuing the digression to add, that Malcolm, as alleged, was afterwards murdered in the castle of Glammis, in consequence of his avarice and unjust exactions from the nobles he had created, and that the murderers flying, during a snow-storm under night, became bewildered and were lost in the loch of Forfar, the ice on which broke beneath the weight of their horses. In the castle of Glammis, the room where Malcolm was murdered is still shown, and the attention of the visitor is regularly called to the stains of blood on the floor, although, if we mistake not, when Malcolm died, the tree was not planted out of which the boards thus stained are made, nor was the castle built for three hundred years afterwards.

Tradition also points out Brechin and its vicinity as the site of the contest between the Homans under Agricola, and the Caledonians under Galgacus. The South Esk, which passes Brechin, is said to have been the iEsica of the Romans, upon which they had a station, mentioned in the Itinerary of Richard of Cirencester as being in the province of Yespasiana, twenty-three miles distant from the Tay. In the parish of Oathlaw there are the remains of a Roman camp at Battledikes, on the side of the river Esk, supposed to have been the principal station alluded to by Richard of Cirencester; and at Keithock, near Brechin, there were, some fifty years'ago, the remains of another camp supposed to have been connected with the former. In the woods of Slate-ford are still to be seen marks of what are supposed to have been a Roman camp; and on the farm of Eastertown of Dunlappy, immediately adjoining Slateford, a Roman sword was dug out of a moss in 1838; while near the railway station there were found in 1853 two bronze swords and scabbards, now in the Antiquarian Museum of Edinburgh, and marked E 137,138 in the catalogue of the museum, which are exactly identical with those described by Dr Daniel Wilson, in page 228 of his “ Prehistoric Annals of Scotland.” Indeed some of our friends are clearly of opinion that the battle between Agricola and Galgacus must have been fought on the sloping ground immediately south of the two hills of Caterthun. We are told by a popular rhyme that

“Between the Killivair and the Buckler Stane
There lies mony a bluidy bane

or, as another edition of the same rhyme has it,

“’Tween the Blawart Lap, and the Killivair Stanes,
There lie mony bluidy banes; ”

and as the “Killivair Stane” is on the farm of Barrel well, and the “Blawart Lap” on the farm of Langhaugh, something more than half a mile north, and both are opposite the western hill of Caterthun, our antiquarian friends presume that the principal struggle had taken place at these points, where the Homans, being defeated, had been driven eastward on their camps at Keithock and Slateford, from which they retreated to the Meams. The “Killivair Stane” is a plain upright stone, without any trace of the hands of a mason having touched it, exactly similar to those used in Druidical structures; and most probably the stone is the remains of a Druidical temple, at which place, it may naturally enough be concluded, the onset of the Scots had begun. The “Buckler Stane” is said to have been a large broad stone lying in the muir on the farm of Langhaugh, near the Blawart Lap, about half a mile east by north of the Killivair stone, but removed by the farmer of Langhaugh when the ground was improved some forty years ago. Other antiquarians would have all these traditions and monuments to apply to the Danish expeditions just noticed. On a subject like this, which Monkbarns has left undetermined, and which has divided antiquarians for ages, it would be presumptuous for us to hazard an opinion.

Our friends possibly may think we have bestowed too much time on these ancient matters; but we cannot imagine we have done so when we find our researches so far behind those of David Mitchell, Esq., A.M., who, in his History of Montrose, published in 1866, states (page 95) that, “ In the year 156 b.c. the mariners of Montrose were a daring set of savages, who in their prows put to sea, and robbed the Fife shore. They lived on shore in rather a primitive state,—just dug a hole and shoved in. Only think of a family or tribe lying on the ground to rest all night! Brechin at this period was the hunting ground of the ancient Celtic marauders’'!! The learned author does not quote his authority, and we own we have been unable to discover it.


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