The Last of the Free

It is hard to look at these strange stones and their strange carvings and not wonder who and why and wherefore and when…these cryptic messages from an ancient  world of strange happenings and brave deeds….
Sometimes the message is mythic:
On a certain day of the year in the Springtime just before dawn if you’re there early enough and awake enough, you will see the second stone from the left – Muckle Tam –  suddenly leave his appointed place in the line and transport himself down to the loch and back up again just as the sun elbows itself over the hilltops.

St stanes pic

Sometimes the message is historic.
Under these stones
lie a swordsman’s bones
who died to keep men free
        AD 83  

wee stanes oil

This stone circle is said to mark the burial place of  Calgacus, the  Caledonian leader who was killed in AD 83 fighting at the battle of Mons Graupius.
In his pre-battle speech(according to Tacitus),  he had reminded his men that they were 
the last of the free‘ and that their enemies, the Romans,  ‘ had given  the name of empire to robbery and plunder; had made a desert and called it peace ‘. 


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