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Auld Wives' Lift

The Auld Wives' Lift comprises a group of immense stones, one bridging the other two, located on Craigmaddie Muir, a mile (1.5 km) north northeast of Baldernock and 2½ miles (4 km) northeast of Milngavie in East Dunbartonshire. The unusual name arises from local folklore that the stones were carried here by three old women from the neighbouring parishes of Baldernock, Campsie and Strathblane, in their aprons, as the result of a wager to determine who could lift the heaviest load. The capstone is some 5.5m (18 feet) in length and has been estimated at 60 tons in weight. The stones lie in close vicinity to a pair of chambered tombs, however suggestions that they were placed at this site to act as a druidic altar seem unlikely given their size and it is more probable that the stones represent an erratic, dropped by a retreating glacier. Superstitious tradition suggests that first-time visitors should squeeze through the gap between the stones, otherwise they shall die childless. The stones are inscribed with centuries of graffiti, together with cup-and-rings markings and carvings which are likely to be prehistoric. The site gives a commanding view to the south over Glasgow, to the west over the Firth of Clyde and the Firth of Forth to the east.


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