Jock McMaster describes evidence of much earlier times in the landscape around Monreath

Jock McMaster interviewed by Julia Muir Watt at Blairbuy, near Monreath

Ref: DG4-11-1-2
© 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.

JMW:  Yes.

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.

JMW:  Right.

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.

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