NS5579 : The Gowk Stane

taken 6 years ago, near to Netherton, Stirling, Great Britain

This is 1 of 3 images, with title The Gowk Stane in this square
The Gowk Stane
The Gowk Stane
For a view from the other side, see NS5579 : The Gowk Stane. The track (now part of the John Muir Way) Link is often called the Gowk Stane Road. The stone itself is not marked on the 1:25000 map or the 1:50000 map, but it is labelled "Gowk Stone" on larger-scale mapping.

The following comment is from a footnote on page 257 of J.G.Smith's "The Parish of Strathblane" (1886):

"A little to the west of Cockmylane is a very large boulder, standing where three lairds' lands meet (Craigend, Craigallian, and Duntreath). It is called 'The Gowk's Stane'".

The stone is not marked on the 1:25000 map that I was using, but it attracted my attention. To the right (north) of the track is a steep wooded slope, Cuilt Brae; embedded in the northern side of the boulder, which overlooks that slope, is an eye bolt, with some twisted fragments of rusted wire still attached to it. Perhaps a fence was tethered to that eye bolt; the 1:25000 map shows a boundary running NE from the stone, down the slope, and that boundary was present from the first-edition map (1860) onwards.

A number of other boulders in Scotland that are in a similarly prominent location are called the Gowk Stane; various explanations have been offered for the name (Smith offers one for this particular stone), which any interested readers can look up.

As mentioned earlier, the boulder overlooks a steep slope called Cuilt Brae. The name Cuilt is an old one, earlier spelled Cult or Quilt. A charter of 1445 mentions "half of Cultis"; another, signed by James II in 1452, mentions "the Quilt lying to the south side of the Burn of Blane".
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Grid Square
NS5579, 28 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Friday, 18 April, 2014   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 27 May, 2014
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Paths  Woodland, Forest 
Primary Subject of Photo
Long Distance Path (from Tags)
John Muir Way 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 5527 7912 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:58.9898N 4:19.2796W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 5527 7911
View Direction
West-northwest (about 292 degrees)
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Other Tags
Gowk Stane Road 

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