Jock McMaster interviewed by Julia Muir Watt at Blairbuy, near Monreath
© European Ethnological Research Centre, 2017.
JMcM: But Michael, Michael next door is…I see him quite a bit, he’s back here quite a lot. He’s trying to hold on to what’s left of his estate.
JMcM: And ah ploughed up a skeleton in a field this year and Michael was most interested in that and he was across and he was in the hole having a wee look, greatly excited, thought it might have been some of our ancestors, either his or mine [laughter]. It turned out to be Bronze Age.
JMW: That’s a little bit [?].
JMcM: It was three thousand years old or so.
JMW: Very interesting, though.
JMcM: Very, yea.
JMW: I mean this is a farm with a lot of archaeology, isn’t it?
JMcM: It is, yea, wi the Wren’s Egg and standing stones and cup and ring markings.
JMW: I suppose its pure position on the sea and looking out to sea must have been-.
JMcM: Ah think so and the Fell of Barhullion being a sort of elevated area, it would be a natural place to, ah suppose, hide from your enemies, to climb up there and defend yourself.
JMW: Yes, absolutely. Were there any legends or stories that you knew that related to these archaeological features…people tend to tell stories about-.
JMcM: The only thing ah know that’s not actually written down is the Wren’s Egg in the field down there, it’s a big round stone, and if you stand on top of it, on the shortest day of the year, the sun sets directly behind Big Scaur.
JMcM: Ah’ve done it.
JMW: Have you?
JMcM: Two or three times. It has to be clear, obviously, because it’s mid-winter and every other day it’s further west, quite a considerable bit west. But it does, it sets right behind Big Scaur, so whether the Wren’s Egg was put up for that reason nobody knows.
JMW: Mm, fascinating.