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fife-kinross-clackmannan-1933/03-033

Transcription

INVENTORY OF MONUMENTS IN FIFE, KINROSS, AND CLACKMANNAN.

(No. 577). In the neighbourhood of Hawk Hill, Clackmannanshire, (No. 595) an
unspecified number of cists contained in all twenty-two cinerary urns, and from one
of the burials were recovered two fine penannular rings of gold.

Stone Circles. - Out of six circles of standing stones existing or known to have
existed in Fife and Clackmannanshire three have totally disappeared. No surviving
example is complete, the group of seven stones at Balbirnie (cf. No. 418) being really,
as already mentioned, an outer setting to a round cairn. At Lundin Links in Largo
parish, Fife, (No. 379) three irregularly shaped pillars of red sandstone, varying in
height from about 10 to 17 feet, are evidently the surviving units of a circle approxi-
mately 54 feet in diameter. One other stone at least is known to have stood here
formerly, while there is a record also of "ancient sepulchres" having been found
"near them."

Standing Stones. - Twenty-one standing stones - apart from symbol stones,
early Christian monuments, and isolated boulders such as boundary stones - have
been noted as surviving in the counties at elevations varying from 100 to 500 feet
above sea-level, and others are known to have existed. In two Fife cases, one at
Glassmount in Kinghorn parish (No. 346) and the other at Balfarg in Markinch
parish (No. 420), and in one case in Kinross-shire (No. 577) they are in pairs. A
standing stone on the farm of Easter Pitcorthie in Carnbee parish, Fife, (No. 88) ¹ is
covered with cup-markings of varying size scattered indiscriminately over the upper
portion of the south face, and in the centre of these markings, there is also a very
clearly cut impression shaped like a human foot. ² The upper portion of the north face
is badly weathered, but there are indefinite traces of cup-markings near the base.
The stone at West Pitcorthie in Kilrenny parish, Fife, (No. 332) has on its eastern
face a series of hollows closely resembling small cup-marks, but they are of doubtful
character. On the one at Torryburn (No. 526), however, the cup-marks on its eastern
face are perfectly clear. What appears to have been a holed stone (Scottice, "thirlstane")
- the only perforated example in the county - has been recorded from the farm of
Craigs, near Dunfermline ( No. 209). The remainder are undressed pillars of varying
size without any features of special interest. In Clackmannanshire only one stone
(No. 612) survives, while in Kinross-shire the single instance is that of the stones at
Orwell, noted above.
Two standing stones, namely that at Newton of Collessie (No. 117) and the
"Skeith Stone" (No. 331), are not here included in this class, since they bear sculptur-
ings which seem to bring them into a different category.
Certain stones still bear the name of " Lecker Stane" ( No. 569) or " Lecture
Stane" (Nos. 552, 569), and others are known to have been so called. The name
clearly reproduces the "Lykyrstyne" of an early document, ³ where it is defined as "a
heap of stones" (acervus lapidum) i.e. a burial cairn. The cases cited, however, are
single stones.

1. The place-name "Pitcorthie," which includes the old Gaelic coirthe, "a pillar stone" (cf. Prof.
Watson's Celtic Place Names of Scotland, p. 412), occurs in three parishes in the county of Fife, namely
Carnbee, Dunfermline, and Kilrenny, and in each instance a standing stone is found in the immediate
vicinity (cf. Nos. 88, 208 and 332). This association has been noted also elsewhere in Scotland (cf. Proc.
Soc. Ant. Scot.. xxxvii (1902-3) p. 211.
2 On such impressions see Proc. Soc. Ant. Scot., xiii (1878-9), p. 28-47.
3 Reg. Prior. S. Andree, p. 1.

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