- Scottish Folklore: Kilns, Mills, Millers, Meal and Bread - Books
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- 2.2 COLDINGHAM PRIORY 1098-1648
- Priory Col Mill
Fairy Sweethearts. Fairy sweethearts were also found in the Gaick Forest area, and were said to visit hunters in the forest. It was believed that the earthly wife of a hunter who fell in love with a fairy was in great danger of being hurt by her supernatural rival Gordon, Much to her fury she saw a beautiful young lady in a green gown join her husband at a small rounded knoll in the middle of the glen. She sprang at them like a tigress but found she only grasped an empty green gown. She suddenly felt a calmness sweeping over her, and her husband too, and they lovingly entwined arms and walked home, forgetting their quarrels.
As she entered her house she accidently snagged the dress on a nail and a piece of fabric fell to the floor. Her daughter picked it up and instantly transformed into the most beautiful woman, and the wife and her daughters forever carried a piece of the dress by their hearts, and all happily married and continued to pass pieces of the dress down to future generations Gray, A rather wonderful tale of a fairy lover is told of a soldier in Ruthven in They took aim and fired but not a single bullet pierced her.
However Argyll noticed that the forester had disobeyed his command, refusing to shoot at his love, and he was brought before Argyll and told that he alone must fire at the hind. The fairy gave a terrifying scream and rose up like a cloud of mist and vanished into the mountains and was never again seen following the army.
It was said that he left a widow back home in a place called the Fairy Corry, and that she wrote a lament about his body being laid to rest in Kingussie, so far from home, with no wife to lament for him MacPhearson, Highland Monthly This lament is an old one but possibly unconnected to the story of the Fairy Sweetheart as it makes no actual mention of the above story A big thank you to Kate Louise Mathis for her translation of this lament. Below you can see a photo of Ruthven Barracks, which now stands where the castle once stood:.
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Ruthven barracks, where Ruthven castle once stood. Fairy Abodes and Fairy Dancing. During moonlight they celebrated on the hill top, and at other times they stayed within the hill. Some Cairngorms fairies prefer to dance on rocks, particularly the Big Stone of Cluny. One man saw them dancing by moonlight but when he showed his delight at the beautiful dance moves of one particular fairy she flew at him in a fury and almost strangled him before he could say a prayer! Below you can see the fairy stone as it appears on Google Maps.
Sometimes the fairies were accompanied by a fairy piper, as seen on a green hillock between Auchallater and Loch Callater MacGillivray, Fairy Hills were common throughout the Cairngorms, and the names can still be seen on Ordinance Survey maps even today.
Scottish Folklore: Kilns, Mills, Millers, Meal and Bread - Books
There was once a wooded fairy knoll at Fincastle Gordon, , and Sithean Dubh da Choimhead in Glen More was said to be a fairy hill Affleck, though the reason behind the name has been forgotten. I visited this particular hill and it does appear strangely conical and pointed, very unusual.
Sithean Dubh da Choimhead in Glen More. Stewart describes fairy turrets as composed of stones in the shape of irregular turrets, resembling masses of rocks or earthen hillocks.
Places Archive - Scottish Food Guide
The fairies of Glen More were said to milk deer and wash their clothing in Lochan Uaine, so causing the water to appear a wonderful greenish tinge Forsyth, After visiting the loch I can confirm that the water is indeed a beautiful and mysterious green colour, as shown in the photos below:. Lochan Uaine, where the fairies wash their clothing. There are fairy hills, or sithean, at both ends of Loch Morlich but those at the west end are his abode Forsyth, MacGregor only mentions one faery knowe and describes it as the meeting place of the fairy folk of Rothiemurchus and the Braes of Abernethy, and tells this story:.
As the sound drew nearer to him, he began to look around him for the piper. But, nearer and nearer and louder and louder though the piping came, there was no sign anywhere of the player. So close to him came the music eventually that he actually stepped aside, so as to allow the invisible piper to pass. He claimed he felt the gusts of wind on his cheeks that were issuing from the drones of the bagpipes, and when he told his friends they were of the opinion he had heard the faery bagpipes, played by none other than Big Donald himself MacGregor, Another time, when homes were lit by fir torches instead of paraffin oil, people from the lowlands came to this area to gather fir from the forest.
They stayed with crofters and grazed horses on their land, but Donald considered them a nuisance and wanted them gone. One day, whilst gathering fir, they were suddenly aware of a gigantic figure that began pelting them with sticks and stones. The west end of Loch Morlich, home to Big Donald.
A fairy hill at the west end of Loch Morlich. The Cairngorm fairies are very fond of music. A farmer in Strathspey was singing while he sowed a field, and whether it was the singing or seed that attracted her, a fairy damsel of great beauty and elegance introduced herself to the farmer. He asked what he would be offered in return, and she said if he granted her request then his seed would never fail him. He granted her request and sure enough, no matter how much he sowed his bag of seed never got less full.
Unfortunately his good luck ended when his rather nosey wife accosted him with her suspicions, ending the spell Stewart, Fairy music was also heard in the higher mountain regions of the Cairngorms. In the late s and early 50s, Hugh Welsh, a stalwart of the Cairngorm Club and believer in the supernatural, reported hearing fairy music coming from rocks in Coire Sputan Dearg, high up Ben Macdui Watson, Fairy Midwives. As in other areas of Scotland, there was a need for human midwives to deliver fairy babies in the Cairngorms too.
One midwife found a stranger on horseback knocking at her door late one night asking for her assistance. After she helped the fairy lady to give birth she chose as her boon that whomever she attended in child birth should have a safe and speedy delivery Stewart, Murdoch Mackenzie was a weaver and midwife and was said to possess a gift in his family that came from the fairies for some service rendered to them. It seems human healers were also in demand. Dame Aliset was asked to heal a fairy child by a four foot tall man wearing old fashioned clothing.
She fetched healing waters from a well and used them to cure the child, and in return the fairies offered her great gifts, which she refused and only asked that they reward her with their friendship. However they did give extra powers to the healing well, and it is said that anyone who washes there can receive their youth again if only they wish for it Swire, Trading with the Fairies. An unusual method of trading with the fairies seems to have been discovered in the Cairngorms area.
It seems they cannot refuse the trade! A hunter of Glen More acquired a set of jewelled silver pipes in this unfair manner, but the fairies had the last laugh. When he returned home he found they had turned to blades of grass and an empty puff-ball Forsyth, Robin Og had a similar experience at the Sithean of Big Donald, King of the Fairies, who was known for his fairy pipes. But of course when he returned home he found only willow-reeds and a puff ball MacGregor, It seems trading with fairies can save lives too.
She lived with John for several years and he treated her with the utmost tenderness, but one day an English Captain and his son visited and the son recognised her as his mother, who they believed to have died, but a stock had been left in her place. She recognised them too and happily returned home with them Stewart, Fairies and Burning Mills.
Quite unusual are the Cairngorm tales of fairies and burnt mills. Strong Malcolm of Duthil worked as a miller and was helped by a band of little men whom nobody ever saw and few ever heard.
2.2 COLDINGHAM PRIORY 1098-1648
Malcolm left meal in the hopper before bed and the men would work hard all night and in the morning he would find the meal in the bags. If any fool entered the mill at night an unseen power would kick him in the rear and when he got up, usually with a broken and bleeding nose, he would find the mill silent and in darkness. Another mill burning took place in Delnabo. She promised to return it soon as she was expecting a considerable supply.
Once outside the fairy suddenly told the wife that she did not need the oatmeal after all, as she was now supplied as expected, and off she went. The wife was not surprised when she observed a few minutes later the corn-kiln of an adjacent farm engulfed in flames Stewart, Perhaps like ritual offerings being burnt or destroyed as an offering to the gods? Fairy Dogs. Fairy dogs also seem to be more common in the Cairngorms than in other areas of Scotland. They were usually green in colour, and although not evil, their third bark was a death omen unless you had the courage to kill it after the first bark.
Though, hearing even one dark was considered to bring ill luck. Human dogs were said to howl miserably and flatten themselves to the ground at the approach of a fairy dog.
Priory Col Mill
A green fairy dog once roamed the area around Ruthven Castle, and it was seen by several within the memory of those living fifty years ago. This was the last fairy dog to be seen, and they are now said to be extinct in the Highlands Swire, A shepherd was sitting one evening in his remote cottage, far up in the hills, when he heard scratching.
Thinking it was his own dog wanting to be let in he opened the door, but in walked a green dog with golden eyes and crimson ears, and it went and lay down by the fire. He felt very nervous, knowing that a fairy dog made for a chancy companion, especially in a remote cottage at night, but he knew better than to disturb it.
He placed food and water near the great hound and it drank well but refused the food. Then his own dog scrabbled at the door and when he let it in it saw the creature by the fire, and flattened down in terror. At dawn, the green dog rose, shook itself, and walked to the door. The shepherd quickly opened it and to his surprise the fairy dog licked his hand before leaving.
That winter, when his own dog had hurt its paw and was unable to assist him, the shepherd found himself in trouble.