Cheswirt Stane or Duck’s Neb

An old legal deed of 1795 for John Kinloch of Logie, together with his neighbours Captain John Brown of Glasswell and Robert Fletcher of Ballinshoe against the Feuars of Kirriemuir, shows they were claimants in a division of the Southmuir of Liftie otherwise called the South Muir of Kirriemuir.

This Process of Division was raised in 1776 by Sir John Ogilvie of Inverquharity but as he had sold his lands to Charles Lyell it is a fascinating insight of what the Southmuir was like before it was developed for housing and became an extension to Kirriemuir in the 1820s.

The style of the legal text I believe adds to the tale and leaves us puzzled today as although the text survives, the plan or drawing referred to is lost.

Anyway, the summons sets forth that “The Pursuer is proprietor of Lands mentioned Comprehending the Commonty commonly called the common muirs of Kirriemuir on the north and south muirs of Liftie lying in the north and south sides of the town of Kirriemuir.”

The memorialists began by stating to the Lord Ordinary the Titles produced for them in this action. Mr Kinloch was proprietor of the lands of Logie, otherwise called Logie Wisehart, containing the particular towns and lands mentioned in his title deeds. His lands of Logie stretch along the south side of the South Muir of Liftie (now Southmuir of Kirrie).

The South Muir of Liftie and the Forrest of Lesden were the personal property of Mr Kinloch including the lands and Muir of Blackbeard, part of the Estate of Logie on the south and part of the Lands of Herdhill on the north.

From there by the rigging road until it meets the lands of Auchindory belonging to Mr Ogilvy of Airly and along the whole south side of Forrest of Lesden including Cloisterbank run Mr Kinloch’s lands and Muir of Herdhill.

The titles Mr Kinloch produced were: an instrument of Sasine dated June 28, 1540 granted by King James V in favour of John Wisehart of Logie Wisehart and all Haill the Lands of Easter Wisehart with the Corn mill multures and outsets thereof.

The part of Logie called the ‘Damshade’ was described as lying on the lands of Stormyshade and the lands as from thence proceeding northward to the Wood Latch and from thence turning west by the middle gate to the ‘Cheswirt Stane’ and from thence west to the head of the Den of Logie the Lands of Wester Logie with the Powis Powislands and for bank thereof as the same and from thence to the rigging called the Rigging Gate thereof.

So here we have the first mention of the Cheswirt Stane. So where is it?

The boundary ran almost due north between the Stormyshade on the east and the Damshade on the west and then to the Wood Latch and from that west to the stone, vulgarly called the ‘Duck’s Neb’ or ‘Drake’s Neb’, which from its situation and being a March stone can be called nothing else but the Cheswhirt Stane and from that west to the Sled road where the Muir of Liftie terminates. It was said however that the Cheswert Stane from its shape has acquired another name among the vulgar, but was still known as a March or boundary stone.

The document then refers to that part of the Laws and Muir of Blackbeard along the north extremity of which runs the Cowfit burn and which seem to be the same that are called the Laws of Wester Logie Powlands came to have the name of the Lands of Blackbeard where they became known as North Mains of Logie.

We know where the Glamis Road crosses the Cowfit Burn, so I believe the Cheswirt stane is that stone now exposed in the field at Mains of Logie.

Should you want to go and see the stone for yourself, I suggest you just go to 1 Beechwood Place, Kirriemuir and walk south across the road and look over the fence.

It certainly is an impressive stane and has clearly never been moved.

The parts of the Estate of Logie that were called Locharstane, Haukdenhead and Drummsled are now more commonly known as Plovermuir.

It is astonishing to me that many of the names of so many places along line of March such as the Stormshade, Damshade, Latches, Wood Latch and Rigging Gate are now lost forever.

In the 1795 case, Thomas Duncan said that he had known the grounds described for these 36 years past and during that period been the boundary of the South Muir of Liftie and the grounds during that period had been under cultivation, that the ground lying on the south side of the Kirriemuir Road was all muir 36 years ago. The grounds within these lines were under tillage as far back as he remembers. The spot Thomas mentioned is on the south side of the road and is why I think this is the Cheswirt Stone.

Yours aye,

THE ORRAMAN.