Willie’s View: Round By The Bull Stane

willies view

Willie’s View continues to concentrate on those places he can reach on his daily lockdown exercise . . .

It’s a while since trains stopped at Crook of Devon Station. The last was on 13th June 1964, to be precise. 

I should know, for I was on the last train — and still have the ticket to prove it.

The unsurfaced road beyond where the old station used to stand is known as the Peat Gate.  This was the road folk would use to cart their peats home from the local moss.

I often take a walk out this way, and on round by Aldie.

willies view

Photograph by Willie Shand.

Although there’s nothing to show for it now, the grassy rise above the station was the spot where a coven of 13 witches – the Devil’s Dozen – were tried and 11 of them strangled and burned in 1662. It’s known as the Lamblairs.

A bit further on, where we meet the track for Aldie, you’ll notice a muckle boulder beside the dyke.

It’s in several pieces cemented together, and I doubt if any who pass this way might know why.

Humpty Dumpty

This is ‘The Bull Stane”. Whether or not its name harks back to the days of bull baiting is lost in the mists of time. But the fact it’s patched together is owed to a man by the name of McNaught.

willies view

Photograph by Willie Shand.

Well over a century ago, McNaught, who lived close by, was building a dyke. Looking for stone to use, he thought the Bull Stane was an easy source. So, he blew it up.

Not surprisingly, the locals were most upset at this destruction of an ancient landmark.

Poor McNaught was ordered to stitch it all back together again — a bit like Humpty Dumpty.

And that’s the reason then why it’s in so many bits today.



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Willie Shand