‘The Standing Stone of Achorachan; A Glenlivet Tradition’ by Avon. (25 July, 1891)

The following tale won its author the prize of one guinea from ‘The People’s Journal’ for the best local story. On OS Maps the grid reference for the standing stone is NJ 20965 27764, across the River Livet from the Glenlivet distillery and by the farm of Auchorachan. Pleasingly, the standing stone can still be seen atop the brae.

By the main road through Glenlivet from Ballindalloch Station of the Speyside Railway to the village of Tomintoul, the capital of the Banffshire Highlands, the distance is fifteen miles and a half. Between these two places a conveyance runs to and fro daily. The scenery of the Avon (locally A’an) and the Livet is very pretty; the air of the district is pure and bracing, and the number of visitors to Tomintoul (the Square of which is 1100 feet above sea level), is increasing year by year.

If the traveller through Glenlivet will pause a few minutes in his journey nearly opposite the farm of Achorachan at the eighth milestone from Ballindalloch and look Northward down the valley I shall have pleasure in pointing out an object, and in narrating a tradition regarding it. Turning half round to the right, the object to which I would especially direct your attention is that upright stone on the face of the brae, in the middle of what is at present a field of turnips. It is about 200 yards from the road, stands about 6 feet out of the ground, and is apparently composed of grey slate. If that stone could speak, it could no doubt tell many a strange tale of earthly change and vicissitude. As it cannot speak, however, in articulate language, I propose to speak for it, and to rehearse the last remarkable incident in its long and eventful history. The tradition is still quite fresh in the district, and is often referred to, especially by the older folks.

Sixty or seventy years ago the farm of Achorachan was tenanted by a certain Captain Grant, a retired military gentleman. Though a native of Glenlivet, he had spent a good many years abroad, and had seen hard service in those dire campaigns of which Napoleon was the moving spirit. As a military officer he had been accustomed to be obeyed, and like many others, civilian as well as military, he liked to have his own way. Continue reading “‘The Standing Stone of Achorachan; A Glenlivet Tradition’ by Avon. (25 July, 1891)”