Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Grenago Stane

The Grenago Stane, or Groaning Stone”, is located on the 14th fairway of the present day Oldmeldrum golf course. 
For a more detailed location follow this link. http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/898972

Legend has it that the Earl of Buchan lay beside the stone crying and groaning after his defeat by King Robert.

The stone long predates the battle of Barra, and according to the Reverend Angus H. Haddow B.Sc, in his work, “Dowsing for Patterns of the Past – The stone Circles of Aberdeenshire”, the stone once formed part of a long lost stone circle.
I had hoped to get permission to use some of the material, but have been unable to contact, the Rev. Haddow, so I am proceeding without it.

The stone features in an 1870 poem by the Oldmeldrum poet, James Fraser.

The Grenago Stane

Oh wha hasna heard o’ the Grenago Stane
That stands on the richt o’ the road to Kilblean
Like A sentry, on guard east end o’ the common
The object o’ interest to man and to woman.
When a cowherd, lang, syne, my leifie lane,
I’ve mused on the past by the Grenago Stane
An’ the spirit o’ history from sleep did me summon
To see Earl Buchan the notorious Comyn
When routed by Bruce below Hill o’ Barra,
He fled from the field wi’ the speed o’ an arrow,
Wi’ Fire and wi’ sword is driven fae Bara,
Tae pillow his head on the Grenago Stane,
His broadsword is dimmed o’ its glancing sheen,
The presence o’ Bruce on the field o’battle
Scattered his foes like a herd o’ cattle,
While the Earl ske-daddled to the Grenago Stane,
Sick at seeing where the conflict had been.
Thanks to the burghers o’ brave Bon-Accord
They cam wi’ what strength the town could afford,
And that help, that lives yet in memory green
Laid Comyn to groan by the Grenago Stane.
The Earl while resting was heard to groan
Hence, says tradition, the name of the Stone.
And deny who list
That the Earl had been lodger by the Grenago Stane.
Five centuries and mair have passed away
Since our brave fighting fathers did sleep in the clay,
But wha disna gaze wi ‘sparklin’ e’en
To where Comyn lay doon by the Grenago Stane?
Proudly did the Royal Flags float o’er the field
When the rebel invaders were driven to yield,
So perish all rebels to the reign of our Queen
And bury their bones by the Grenago Stane.

Can anyone provide information on James Fraser?

The stone is also mentioned in a foot note by Fred R. Coles, in his 1902, “Report on stone circles of North Eastern Scotland” for the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
“Before quitting this district, I may note, in passing, the big boulder that goes by the name of Girnigoe, or Grenago Stone. It is, I think, an ice-poised boulder of whinstone, nearly 6 feet high, and roughly rhomboidal in contour, and stands on the commonty of Old Meldrum. In local histories it has a traditional association with a battle between Bruce and the Comyns.”

In modern times the stone apparently still retains the power to make grown men “groan”.
The Oldmeldrum Golf Club website carries the following warning:
“Look out on the 14th fairway for the Groaner or Groaning Stone, a large projection of ancient rock which inspired the club logo. If struck by a wayward shot, it can cost strokes by deflecting a speeding ball straight into oblivion”

Barra hill viewed from the golf course.

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