Thirl Stone

Thirl Stone AMY O NO197138 1 361 245m

    Thirlstane 1591 RMS v no. 1946 [see discussion, below]
    Thirl Stone 1828 SGF
    Thirl Stone 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn

Sc thirl + Sc stane

‘Stone with a hole in it’; Sc thirl ‘hole, aperture’ (CSD).

    Like the Borestane, also mentioned in the 1591 charter (for full text of which see AMY Intro., Royal Burgh), the Thirl Stane first appears as a boundary marker for the commonty of Auchtermuchty Hill, while today it marks the boundary of AMY with ANY, as well as that between FIF and PER. Like the Borestane it had a hole (thirl) in it: a circular socket 13 cm in diameter and 20 cm deep, made in one face of the stone, presumably for the same purpose, which was to hold a flagstaff (NMRS NO11SE 6).

    The explanation given in the OS Name Books is less convincing. In that for Perthshire in 1860 (3, 11) it is stated that ‘Thirl Stone marks the spot where it is supposed the inhabitants of Abernethy and the adjoining parish (Auchtermuchty) used to hold their markets. In the centre of the stone is an upright beam to support their scales’; while the OS Name Book for Fife from the early 1850s (50, 22), quotes a similar belief as reported by Leighton, who calls it the Hurle Stone, adding that the fair was principally for the sale of wool (Leighton 1840 ii, 207).

This place-name appeared in printed volume 4