Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Lulach's Stone

Wikimedia Commons
Lulach's Stone—a highly impressive menhir in Kildrummy, Aberdeenshire. Thought to be of Bronze Age origin, it’s almost 9 feet high above ground, wider at the shoulder. It bears no cup-marks or tooling. The grey schist is partly moss/ lichen covered.

Why Lulach?

The name may have origins from the gaelic ‘liath’ meaning ‘grey’ thus the ‘grey stone. Since most of the solitary standing stones I’ve seen in Aberdeenshire are grey, I find that would be repetitively simplistic…except that in former times – even back in the late Iron Age - the stone perhaps didn’t have a name and had no need for a specific name. If a direction was physically pointed towards the nearest menhir perhaps no other identification was necessary.

One source I found indicated that even as recently as the Victorian Era the Lulach Stone may have been even taller above ground, maybe standing at more like 11 feet high. if so, perhaps a bit at the top has sheered off or the ground level of the field had altered. Whatever its original height, it would have taken a good degree of strength, man hours and cooperation to set it into place.

Another explanation for the name is that it refers to King Lulach, son of lady Macbeth of Shakespeare fame. There are 2 standing stones named Lulach in Upper Donside which bear the name Lulach. Folklore states they were the place where Lulach was killed some 6 months into his reign as King of Scots (1057-1058), having succeeded as stepson to Macbeth. (He was followed by Malcom III and the succession of Scottish Kings removed from the ‘Moray’ line)

My Caledon chief in my current WIP is named Lulach after the stone and his roundhouse village is at Ceann Druimin (Kildrummy), the same location as the menhir mentioned above which would already have been in Lulach’s field for many centuries before he became the caretaker of his tribe c. AD 84.

Is my Lulach a 'grey' man? You'll need to wait to find out. (imagine a smiley face emoticon here)

If anyone knows any other reason for the stone to be named Lulach, please tell me! 


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading my blog. Please pop your thoughts about this post in the comment box. :-)