Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Stone of the Maiden

It has been a lovely bright autumn weekend and I took a walk to a local landmark called the 'Stone of the Maiden'. Lying in the dappled sunlight of a larch wood, this extraordinary rock, a mass of small stones bound together many millions of years ago, played a key role in Nairnshire's 16th century version of Romeo and Juliet. This was the stone where the lovers would meet prior to the tragic denouement, ultimately played out at Rait Castle.

The gist is that an attempt by the Comyns of Rait to murder their neighbours the MacKintoshes by inviting them to dinner at Rait was dramatically reversed, thanks to two young lovers. The story is told in full on my Save Rait Castle site.

Three questions remain in my mind...

1. How do you cut off both of a young girl's hands when she is hanging out of a window?
2. Why did the MacKintoshes leave the castle to become ruinous and not take it over when it was available to them in 1442?
3. Why do the Custodians of Scotland's architectural heritage continue to allow this, the best standing example of a 13th century Scottish Hall House, to be overtaken by the surrounding undergrowth?

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