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Auld Wives' Lift

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

This edition is copyright © The Editors of the Gazetteer for Scotland, 2002-2016.

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Auld Wives' Lift, a famous cromlech in Baldernock parish, SW Stirlingshire, 1 mile NNE of the church, and 3 miles WSW of Lennoxtown. A trilith or complete cromlech, it consists of three stones only-two of nearly equal length Supporting the huge capstone, a block of basalt 18 feet long, 11 broad, and 7 thick. Through the narrow triangular space between the three stones every stranger must creep, if, runs the rustic creed, he would not die childless; and those stones, he is told, were brought hither by three old women in their aprons, for a wager which should bear the heaviest load. Then from the top, though barely 400 feet above sea-level, he may look right across the island from firth to firth, see the smoke of one steamer entering the Clyde, and of another below Grangemouth in the Forth. See Wilson's Prehistoric Annals of Scotland (2d ed. 1863), and Nimmo's Stirlingshire (3d ed. 1880).

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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