Local history carved in stone

Datestones primarily commemorate the construction of a building, indeed they are in vogue again today, maybe following the influence of the significance of the 2000 millennium year.

Built into the walls of Airlie Castle is a stone marked I M EC 1660.

This is McCombie’s stone and came from Crandart in Glen Isla.

Built into Auchendorie steading is a stone from an earlier building on the site, 1669 GO JT. The Airlie Kirk Belfry is dated 1783.

Cookston Bridge is dated MDCCXCIII (which you will all know is Latin for number 1793).

At Cortachy Kirk you can see a stone (above the aumbry) showing 1614 while the Kirk sundial shows 1675.

There are dated stones on Cortachy Hall chimney EC IAMA 1743; Cortachy Red Lodge is dated 1859 and nearby Downie Park stables shows 1805; Cossacks (old house) has 1819 and the old Gella Bridge panel had 1861, but this was lost in 2008 when the bridge was demolished.

Nearby there are two cheese presses at Crossbog JR1842 and another dated 1861.

This is the same date (1861) as the gatepost at Prosen Brig gatepost and nearer Kirrie is the Brig o’ Traes bridge which shows 1872.

In Glen Clova a Braeminzion lintol shows 1807 and the Gallows Knowe Bridge panel shows1898.

In Glenprosen the Spott Bridge is dated 1856 whereas the old Balnaboth Chapel is inscribed MDC 1693.

At Glamis, the castle door knocker is dated 1687 and the Italian Garden Pavilion has a stone dated 1910. This was originally known as the ‘Autumn Garden’ and seems to have changed for tourist reasons.

The village of Glamis has many dated houses such as 1 Main Street is dated 1745 and 11 Main Street, Glamis is dated 1765.

Near Glamis is the celebrated Doocot at Mains of Rochelhill with its ‘hop in the heist’ panel dated 1565 and the Easter Denoon March stones have G.I. (in a shield) dated 1685. The ‘GI’ was the Rev. George Innes.

Glen Isla has the “Justice Bridge” dated 1824.

In the town of Kirriemuir you can easily see behind the CCTV camera at 1-5 Reform Street the emblem of the former Kirriemuir Equitable Co-operative Society, built according to the inscription in 1880 and diagonally across the road you can see an 1872 stone.

William Robb must have been busy at the end of the 18th century as the sundial at Kinnordy House was “made by William Robb, Montrose 1789” and the sundial at Tannadice House was also “made by William Robb, Montrose 1789”

Another dated sundial is on the Old Sheilhill Bridge has 1770 and is located above the wonderful ‘Kelpie face’.

How many of you have seen him?

At Lethnot on the Craigendowie Bridge (over Calletor Burn) is a stone I M F 1713 REPAIRED BY THE PUBLICK”.

Ackfersie, in Menmuir is a former farm on the hill where there was a ‘1772’ dated stone (now removed to Rome, that’s a farm name, not the town in Italy!)

At Auchfarsoe (according to Warden’s spelling) there is another 1772 stone still at Ackfersie.

Near Forfar is the Auchterforfar Bridge with WL1845 and its neighbouring Burnside Bridge over Knowehead Burn has WL1847.

In the town Forfar is a curious broken stone dated 1709 with the decorative letters ‘I W’ built into the roadside dyke in Prior Road. Where did that come from?

According to the late Commander Tom Sampson at Milldens the West Mill is dated 1685.

Tannadice has curious examples, at Manse Lane as on the former policeman’s house is a stone with the inscription “In Adam’s Fall We Sinned All” with the date 1715 and on the former Roadman’s house is a stone with the inscription “Time cuts down all both great and small”.

There was a stone from Vayne castle dated 1678 and ‘RES’ (Robert, Earl of Southesk) with the inscription “Disce. Meo. Exemplo. Formosis. Posse. Carere”.

These preceding 39 examples of stones are just a few that I know of.

But keep a lookout for dated stones on your travels; they each have a story to tell.

Yours aye,