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Testing Stone of the Fianna - New Owners

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  • Testing Stone of the Fianna - New Owners

    After a number of claims that the stone has again been removed by the farmer I made the trip just to ascertian whether the stone was still there. Fortunately it was but some ten feet or so from the plinth and by the look of the grass surrounding it, has not been moved for some time. If it is not on the plinth it is impossible to find and I have now replaced it......Very poor lift but I did it.


    Sandy Walker sold his farm 7 months ago and is no more the legal owner of the stone. The farm has been split into six lots for property development by the Pakistani or Indian consortium who are the new owners. I do not forsee any change in the current position as the stone is situated on an agricultural lot however over the next few months I will maintain a watching brief.


    And for those that can't find the stone. It is exactly 2 miles due east of the Bridge of Balgie Post Office and it will be on your right and please leave it on its plinth to help others find it.


    Peter

  • #2
    Dalwhinnie Stone

    On route to Gen Roy on Tuesday I stopped of at Dalwhinnie for petrol. Had a look at the stone but the hotel is in a mess as it shut for trade in November. Hard financial times, yes but the hotel has not yet been put up for sale. It was a bit of an eyesore in any case but what chance any new prespective owner would simply demolish it and take away the stone with the rubble. A very good chance.


    Lift it while it is still there.


    Peter

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    • #3
      peter, it was like that when we where there last october

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      • #4
        Peter,
        Take the stone and preserve it. Do you really think those who would make that decision would actually want the stone for the correct reasons? Swap it with another stone and get the other one out of there before it is too late.
        I am really serious about that suggestion.

        Bill

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        • #5
          Bill/Paul, It was the state of the hotel that drew my attention in the first instance - a dump that does no credit to the area what so ever. I would say that the situation with the hotel is totally unknown - it could be demolished tomorrow for all I know, but one thing for sure is that the hotel will not be reopening. As a consequence, the Dalwhinnie Stone is in danger. I have spoken to DPW regarding it and the frontage of the local distillery would be ideal.


          Hopefully I will be passing through sometime next week and check out other alternatives - I will also try and trace the owners of the hotel and ask them if they could kindly donate the stone to the Brotherhood - this may be the best option - but I am on it.


          Glen Lyon - The Stone is completely safe and if there is any form of danger to it, the Bridge of Balgie Post Office Staff have told me that the new owners of the Craigannie Bed and Breakfast and the Slatich Farmhouse are delighted to have the stone so close and that if something happened it would be removed to Craigannie B and B. I will keep my eye on it though. I had actually visited to check out the existamce of a stone at Cashlie and had a present of a bottle of malt for Sandy Walker. I have his new phone number and will give him a call and hopefully ascertain the details of the new owners to register our interest. I still have his bottle of Malt.

          Bill, your "suggestion" the first thing I thought of was - there is a plinth at Balquhidder without a stone - the Puterach was an oval granite and supposedly very similar - the plinth nearly had a stone but in deference to the history I thought better not. It can be arranged but my preference would for the stone to remain in Dalwhinnie. Suggestions?

          Peter

          PS There are definately two very old testing stones in Glen Roy ( Over the hill from Auchenreach - A A Cameron Country) and a nice oval testing stone with a reasonable plinth on the Island of Coll at Torastan which is obviously a Norse influenced Gaelic name. Will provide more info when I get it.

          PPS The Stone in Glen Lyon known as The Testing Stone of the Fianna should be known as the Young Man's Testing Stone of The Rock of The Fianna - The stone is named after a nearby mote hill called Chraig Fiannaidh some 400 yards away. At the foot of the mote hill is a standing stone about 4ft high known as St Adamnans Cross. As mentioned in the Lairds of Glen Lyon the bodach was to be lifted onto another 4ft high. The full explanation is far too much for a forum but the locals, at the Post Office are well aware of the incorrect translation in Of Stones and Strength. Easy mistake to make though- it has taken me about 6 months to understand and correct it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Peter,
            Puterach would be a fitting place for the Dalwhinnie Stone, but the Distillery must know that the stone would be a credit to them. They are a stable home for the stone.
            I am delighted to hear that the Stone of the Fianna guarded by the locals. That is perfect that the locals want to preserve what is a part of Scottish heritage.
            I know it sounded a little daft to take the stone and replace it with a suitable stone, but didn't that stone have a sister stone known as the Stone of Heroes that is lost. These stones are national treasures and treasures to us of Scottish who live abroad. And especially to us in the Brotherhood of Stone.
            Peter, I really enjoyed your article in Milo. And on what is celebrated here today in the US as Father's Day, I am certain your father would be proud of you and the work you are doing.

            Slainte Mhath, Bill

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            • #7
              Bill

              I have spoken to DPW regarding the Dalwhinnie Stone and he agrees that the frontage of the Distillery which is all grass would be an ideal place. On Sat I emailed the Cairngorm National Park to ascertain who the owners of the Hotel are (I did enquire when I visited but no one seemed to know). The aim is to approach them direct and find out what is happening with the hotel (it does look obvious though) and take the appropriate action. The stone will not be lost.


              David had asked me about the Stone of Hero's. I tried to make contact with some people in Newtonmore but they appeared dissinterested. The last that I had heard was that some zealous farmer had dug a large hole in a field and had deposited there. Its on my to do list which gets bigger by the day but if there is any threat to a stone that will take priority.

              Peter

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              • #8
                Hello Peter,
                Again, thank you for your diligence with protecting the stones. I am still scheming to get a trip to Scotland soon and lay my hands on some stones, hopefully some blue ones!

                Bill

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                • #9
                  Bill.

                  Yes the Blue Stones would be great and I'm sure you will enjoy them.......I had a picture of them strapped as my profile picture on Facebook but took it down because it was rather depressing.



                  Peter

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                  • #10
                    Peter,
                    Yes that is a depressing picture. I remember well going to the local town papers from Irvine and Ayr after seeing them shackled to try and get some local awareness of the plight of these stones. They acted interested and concerned but nothing came of it. We were so disappointed about the stones be shackled that we went to Old Turnberry and to the ocean and lifted stones in full site of Ailsa Craig.

                    By the way, your piece in Milo was excellent! These other stones should get regular visitors now as well.

                    Bill

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                    • #11
                      Bill

                      Sorry I haven't had a chance to reply quicker but it was my 26th Wedding Anniversary yesterday and I had promised the good lady that I would neither talk, write or even think about stones. Well its 26 years and one day so, game on.

                      What I have found over the past year or so is that when I make mention of strength stones/lifting stones to any public body, official or even a member of the general public they often take the view that you are some sort of a crank, so I am not surprised that you encountered that type of response from the local newspaper offices. On Saturday past I emailed the Cairngorm National Park regarding the Dalwhinnie Stone and I am no way surprised that I haven't received a reply back. It is always much the same with other public bodies. You are a crank if they have no personal knowledge of what you are talking about. My disapointment however does not last long when after emailing a lady in Tiree about the possibility of a lifting stone on the island she responds to the effect that she did not know that people still lifted them and there's one on the island of Coll. I don't know this lady, nor her me, but she asked a friend on Coll to take a couple of pictures on my behalf which I received the next day. Its this type of thing that renews my faith in human nature.


                      Meanwhile its looks as though I will be back off to Dalwhinnie again to do some digging and the Blue Stones, well South Ayrshire Council have been reviewing the Health and Safety Decision for over two months. The cynical inside me says that they are stalling to find some legal way to refuse the unstrapping of the stones. The faith side of me says that they might have sent a scheduling request to Historic Scotland to remove the straps, but either way we will know soon.


                      Peter

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                      • #12
                        Hello Peter,
                        Congratulations on your 26th anniversary. Many more to come. Now game on as you said.
                        That is great information for sure. I think that publicity for the stones as national treasures of Scotland will make more people aware of the history. I do know that people of Inver, Potarch and even Aboyne are mostly aware of the history of the stones along the A93. With your efforts and hopefully some more broad media coverage some of these problems could be remedied in the way of awareness as well as securing the stones safely in places we can have access to lift them.
                        The Dritvik Stones and Husafell Stone in Iceland have large plaques that outline the history of the stones. It is also forbidden to remove these stones from their site. Honestly, Scotland could do the same as well with more effort.

                        Bill

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