My final Scottish stone lifting tour with Peter Martin

Moderator: David Horne

My final Scottish stone lifting tour with Peter Martin

Postby james grahame » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:27 am

After lifting the Dalwhinnie, Menzies, Inver and Fianna by myself I was very fortunate to get a tour of some stones with Peter Martin, whose Dad co-wrote 'Of Stones And Strength'. Peter is an amateur historian and is carrying on his Dad's interest in traditional Scottish Stones.

Prior to meeting Peter, I had mistakenly assumed the only significant stones were those mentioned in the book.

This tour was an eye-opening combination of stone-lifting and a much needed history lesson for someone embarassinlgy ignorant of his own heritage.

We started off heading to Firkin Point at Loch Lomond to try and find the stone lifted by Colin Moshman and was featured in
MILO 2003 Volume 11 Number 1. To be honest I am not 100% sure we found it. The article/picture talks of an estimated 350lb stone which looks triangular in the picture. There were only a couple of stones on the entire shore and none were in the estimated weight range. We found a shield/triangle shaped one which was the heaviest stone available but I would guess it was roughly 110kg.

Then it was off to lift the Dalness stone and its sister Deardre's teardrop. The Dalness stone is probbaly 80kg at most and Deardre is maybe 10kg more. No challenge to lift and my ambition was to press them overhead. I nailed them both (took several attempts) and was delighted as it was really wet and muddy underfoot and I was on an incline.

Then onward to the Ardvorlich Stone which has no lifting history other than Peter's dad lifted it and wrote about it. It was a monster and I couldn't even budge it from the ground.
Hard to guess the weight of something you can only roll around a bit. However, I can normally lap about 120kg atlas stone without tacky and I could't even temp this wee beastie an inch off the ground. This stone goes in to the 'unfinished business' folder.

A few hundred yards from the stone is a headstone to commemorate the slaughter of five Macdonald clansmen who were caught cattle rustling by the local Stewarts. I would have walked right past it without Peter pointing it out.

Onward to Balquidder - Rob Roy Macgregor country - to look at the local 'Pudgeag Plinth' near his local church. The stone is lost; Either built in to the manse wall or in the local river. I got a few pictures of Rob Roy's family grave. Then Peter told me the story of how Rob Roy stole the bell from his local church and sold/gave it to a different church in glen Lyon in Perthshire.
That made me smile and relieved the disappointment of the epic fail with the Ardvorlich stone.

Finally, off to 'Sma Glen' for the 'Sadlin Mare'. Unfortunately, it looks like the original stone has long since broken and only about a 20kg chunk remains. I put that on top anyway. There was also another stone at the foot of the plinth so I lifted that as well. Not sure if is has history but it was just begging to be rudely awakened and given some airtime. Probably about 120kg.

A big thanks to Peter who was good company throughout the journey and gave up his personal time to help me achieve my stone lifting ambitions before I return to Australia. The only argument was when he declined to accept any petrol money for driving me around all day. After 3 falls and a submission I managed to press a note in to his hand but £100 would not have been enough remittance for the day's adventure.

The stone lifts

Here is a historic mention to Sadlin Mare..

Pudgeag Plinth, Stirlingshire, (Rob Roy country)

Rob Roy and family Grave

Rob Roy Date of Death
james grahame
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Re: My final Scottish stone lifting tour with Peter Martin

Postby David Horne » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:25 am

Nicely written account of a great time, with the perfect tour guide.

Loved the video too. You'll miss that beautiful countryside when you go back to oz.
Consistency is key!
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Re: My final Scottish stone lifting tour with Peter Martin

Postby Mark M-D » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:21 pm

That was great to read & watch- Congratulations on the lifts.
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Re: My final Scottish stone lifting tour with Peter Martin

Postby Kris Wragg » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:34 pm

Awesome, sounds like you had a great time!

Think I am going to have a trip up to Scotland in May/June, might try and find a few of the smaller stones to have a go at :)
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