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  • Writer's pictureLilly

Stairway to the Picts

If you guessed Mither Tap on Bennachie for yesterday’s photo you’re right! I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been up there (often with my friends’ dog Luna .) I’ve even spent the night on Bennachie. I never tire of this spot, the entrance to the prehistoric/Pictish hillfort. I love the way the views open up below. One day I’ll write my Pictish novels and Bennachie will be front and center.

Its a bit mind boggling to imagine the fort being built, and all the footsteps that fell here before. But when you consider how prominent Bennachie is in the landscape, you can definitely understand why they chose it for their fort! (I took this photo through the gorse from the Battle of Harlaw Monument in Inverurie.)

The land below Bennachie is believed by many to be a likely place for the location of the famous battle of Mons Graupius between the Romans and the Picts. There is also abounding history to be seen from more recent times. As you near the summit of Mither Tap, you pass right through walls of the fort that are still standing - the rest is a massive ring of rubble around the top.

Its hard to put a finger on why this place took such a strong hold on me - as you know I’ve been to plenty of historic places and seen many amazing things in Scotland. But to be up there in what used to be a Pictish stronghold and survey the land - its possible to feel transported to another age. Was that the distant clank of clashing swords I heard? Or just birds in the bush? Was it the murmur of voices going about their day in the fort, or was that just the wind funneling through the gully? Was that the glint of armor in the distance, or the sun reflecting on a window? I always lose myself in the wind and the view for awhile, and when the warm rays of the sun give off the telltale shadows of an ending day, I drag myself back down to reality, often with Luna by my side.

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