It's #FolkloreThursday! Went for a little explore this week in the footsteps of Bigla Comyn, or Matilda Cumming, who had a big old stone 'chair' in Deishar Woods near Boat of Garten. Found a suitably armchair-like stone in the right area, so reckon this was it! She would rest here on her way through the woods to the church at Duthil, which she is said to have founded, and also sat here to collect the rents from her estate. It was apparently also used as a 'loupin'-on stane' to mount horses.
There's a second stone linked with Bigla in these woods, known for many centuries as Bigla's Key Stane, where she stashed her keys when they got too heavy to carry on her way to church. It was described as being circular with a hole in the middle - possibly a bit like a quernstone. Waded through deep heather to the north of Creag an Fhithich, Raven's Crag, but sadly couldn't find this one! But, given that Bigla lived in either the early 1400s or the mid-1200s, that's not really a surprise...
There's some confusion over dates probably brought about by two ladies with the same name, centuries apart. Either way, it's a pretty old story.
The motte or fort mound of Tom Pitlac just outside Boat of Garten is named after Bigla - the small rounded hill of Bigla - and otherwise known as Bigla Cumming's Castle.
Just another (woman) character who made their mark on the Strath, whose traces we still find today.
If you'd like to hear more stories and folktales of Aviemore and the Cairngorms, join an upcoming short guided walk!