The Witches Stone

A delightful story which has thrilled the children of Waternish for generations, told to us by local historian Donald John Campbell of Geary.

Known to generations of children as The Witches Stone, it is on the road verge between Knockbreck School and Hallin. There is supposedly a witch crushed underneath it. Being close to the road it was used as a seat for people needing a dry place to sit on after climbing the school brae, or after the long slog from the manse corner. The Ordinance Survey bench mark and pin is still clearly visible on it.

It was lost for a long time under a covering of moss, but I have scraped the moss off it and given its face a clean.
It was here Maggie Bruce used to rest her creel full of peat as she made her weary way home to Knockbreck with her precious fuel. One day when she was resting on The Witches Stone a crowd of scholars gathered to speak to her, while the girls engaged her in conversation the boys emptied the creel of most of the peat and put stones in instead. They then helped her up with her creel and walked with her as far as the school.

Poor Maggie thought that the peats must still be wet with the weight of them that day, she was nearly on her knees when she got home. Imagine her disappointment when she discovered stones instead of peat, poor woman. Whether through guilt or a fear of their parents finding out, the boys carried all Maggie’s peats home before dark that day. Pranks that are totally unacceptable now were the norm then and Maggie would understand, probably having been involved in plenty in her day.

The location on the map is vague - you have to find it yourself!