TWEEDSMUIR PARISH HISTORY.

Standing Stone Features.

The following is a list of 8 stone features that can be found in Tweedsmuir Parish ,or nearby.  Those shown with an * are within the boundary of the Talla-Hart Fell Wild Land Area.(1)

 Menzion Standing Stones.

 Meggat Stone and Gameshope Stone.*

 St Kentigern/St Mungo Stone - Crook Inn.

 Hearthstanes.

 Resting Stone - Near Devil's Beeftub.*

 Martyr's Stone - Devil's Beeftub.

 Peden's Pulpit - Gameshope.* 

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 Menzion Standing Stones

Excerpt from RCAHMS  Inventory for Peeblsshire(2) on left.  By 1972 it was recorded that the two Menzion stones were no longer evident.   However in 1998  the Editor found what he suspects are these two stones lying flat forlornly in long grass covered in leaves, moss etc.   The northerly stone is more or less at its correct location amongst trees with the southerly stone lying close by - image of northerly stone below.

Obscured by undergrowth on the south side of the road where the south stone should have been is the concrete base of a large hut and nearby the remains of a dry privy .    This hut may have been part of the reservoir works - the following excerpt from Millennium Memories (3) "Opening of Fruid reservoir and the completion of the Fruid to Talla tunnel.   Offices and huts were erected near Menzion".   This hut may have subsequently have been used by the Forestry Commission as a depot during tree planting.  According to the Royal Commission the stones were upright in 1958 so subsequent to that date the stones probably met their fate at the hands of the Fruid reservoir projects.  Also from Millennium Memories (3) "quarter of a mile North-East of Menzion Farmhouse - the road to Tweedsmuir passes between two stones".

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 Meggat and Gameshope Stones.

The Meggat Stone - upper left - stands by the cattle-grid on the road between Talla and Meggat.  It marks the boundary between Tweedsmuir Parish and the Parish of Lyne and stands a few feet in Lyne.  M. L. Anderson(4) suggests that the stone was a marker of the Royal Ettrick Forest as it was in 1236.  However if a forest boundary marker is possible maybe the stone marked the edge of the Tweeddale Wood of Calidon of the dark ages?  

The Gameshope stone - lower left - Stands beside the track in Gameshope between the entrance to the glen and the shepherd's cottage - now The Bothy.  It is sited near the whinstone quarry that was used to supply material for the construction of the Talla dam.   This stone has not been recorded elsewhere but its location near the Maggat stone that would perhaps indicate the same forest boundary as the Meggat Stone? 

 

 

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 St Kentigren/ St Mungo stone.

In the Art Deco garden of the Crook Inn there is an imposing stone with the labels of Kentigren and Mungo attached.  This is a fairly new adddition that arrived in 2010, complete with the labels, as an unwanted feature from a Glasow public garden.  

However, the stone's position here is very appropriate as there was certainly a Pilgrim's Way through the Upper Tweed Valley with a Way marker at the Crook.   However, both Merlin Caledonius ,on his route from Hartfell to Stobo, and Kentigern en route from St Aphes in North Wales to Glasgow must have passed this way see pages Merlin Caledonius and Pilgrim's Way & The Expansion of Christianity.

 

 

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 Hearthstanes.

The farm takes its name from the two standing stones by the Heartstanes burn, probably old boundary marker stones(6).   These stones must have marked the boundary between the estates of Hearthstanes and Polmood - see page Hunters of Polmood.   The site has been recognised by H.E.S. and is on Canmore ID 49766.

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 Resting Stone.

Not really a Standing Stone but is of interest.  It would appear to be a large natural boulder on the trackway, adjacent to Ballaman Hill, between the head of the Fruid Valley and the Devil's Beeftub.  It is shown on the earlier maps, such as Armstrong's of 1775, and hence had some significance.  Armstrong made the comment in his Companion to his map (5) "The Resting Stone , where a female traveller perished through the severity of the weather."  Section of Armstrong map below.  However the boulder may just have been a convenient marker to indicate the edge of the treacherous Falla Moss.   

 

 

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 Martyr's Stone - Devil's Beef Tub.

 

 

 

 

 

The Martyr's Stone purportedly marking the spot where John Hunter, Covenanter, was shot dead in 1685 on the slopes of the Devil's Beef Tub in Dumfriesshire.   There are other similar natural "stones" in the vicinity. The stone is beside the pathway from Moffat to Fruid that is a public footpath and is now part of the long distance footpath The Annandale Way.   The path at the top of the image continues on the Armstrong map above that shows the Resting Stone on the same path. More about John Hunter on  the Covenanters page.  The footpath appears on the Pilgrim's Way chart on page Pilgrims' Way, Chapels & the Expansion of Christianity.

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 Peden's Pulpit at Gameshope.

Grid Ref - NT 135185. 

This stone is obviously natural.  It is unclear whether Alexander Peden a noted Covenanting Preacher actually preached here although he did attend conventicles at Talla Linns.   More about Talla Linns on the Covenanters  page.      Peden's Pulpit and also Talla Linns are recognised as Covenating related sites(7).  There is also a Donald's Cleugh close by which is said to be where Donald Cargill, also a noted Covenanting Preacher, once hid.  There does not appear to be any evidence that Cargill was actually at Talla Linns although he was at Glenhome.  On the 1855 OS map Peden's Pulpit is not marked and the cleugh is titled Ronald's Cleugh!

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References,

1)   Scottish National Heritage; Talla - Hart Fell Wild Land Area, 2014. Map p02.

2) Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments (RCAHMS). Inventory for Peeblesshire, HMSO,  1967.  Vol 1, 105, p63.

3) Brown, C and Taylor, M; Compilers, Parishes of Upper Tweeed Millennium Memories 2000,Local Printing, Peebles, 2000.  p56 and p20.

4) Anderson, M, L; A History of Scottish Forestry - 2 Vols, Edinburgh, 1967. Vol 1 p105. 

5)  Armstrong, Mostyn, John; A Companion to the map of the County of Peebles, W. Creech, Edinburgh, 1775.  p103-104, p108

6) Grant, Will; Tweeddale, Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh, 1948. p60

7)  Scottish Covenanter Memorials Association, www.covenanter.org.uk, Peeblesshire page.

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