Continued entries/extra info

[Page 83]
Parish of Belhelvie

Cromlech (Page 7)

"There appear from a thousand remains, both in South and North Britain to have been
two kinds of Druid Altars: the first sort consists of flat stones which are either incumbent, or
upright, the second sort is the Cromlechs, consisting of a large broad Stone, which is supported by
several Stones, that are usually placed upon their respective edges. Of the first kind there are numerous
examples, in every district of North Britain, as we have seen. The Cromlechs are equally numerous,
and still more remarkable. And both these sorts of altars are generally connected with Druid Circles, or
other Druid works, though the Cromlechs sometimes appear alone, in some sequestered place, which
may have been sheltered by the sacred grove, while the Caledonian forest yet covered the Caledonian
"The term Cromlech is brought by Rowland, from Babel, in the form of Cæræm-lech or Cærem-luach, a devoted stone or
altar. (Mon. Antiq. P. 47) which is quoted by the learned author of the Munimenta. Antiq. V. [Volume] 1. P.230-58-59. This elaborate antiquary also quotes an Etymon of the Cromlech, which is supposed to have been given by a Scots highlander, in the Gent Mag. 1792. P. 695, and
which consists of Crom bent or crooked, and lech, that is supposed, by the highlander, to be a corruption of Clach, a stone, thus,
Cromlech was conjectured to be the stone, which was to be bowed towards, or the stone of adoration. Borlase P. 225, says
the general name for this stone among the learned, is Cromlech, or Crooked Stone; the upper stone being generally of a convex or swelling surface, and resting in a crooked position: Borlase adds in a note, that Crom, in the Cornish, signifies crooked, and Crymmy bending, bowing; whence Toland, and others, have conjectured, these singular erections were called Cromlech, from the reverence which persons, bowing
in the act of adoration, paid to them, None of these, however, have given the true, and proper, interpretation of the term Cromlech. Crom, both in the British and Irish, undoubtedly signifies bent, inclined; and Cromadh, bending, inclining; and Llech (Brit) and Leac (Irish)
mean a flat stone, as we learn from Davies and O'Brien: whence, Crom-lech literally signifies the inclined flat stone; and certainly
is, like most other Celtic names descriptive of the thing, to which it is applied; the top stone of all the Cromlechs being a flat stone,
that had been designedly placed in an inclined position. The conjecture of the Scots highlander of Toland, and of others as above
mentioned, of the Cromlech being the stone of adoration does not agree with the fact; as the Cromlechs were not constructed for objects of

Transcriber's notes

Continues on OS1/1/8/84 page 84.

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Kate51- Moderator, Orcadian Lynelle, klpoole

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