Maiden Bore Cave
Maiden Bore Cave SLO O NO190071 1 372 230m NWF
the Maiden-bore 1823 Small 1823, 94 [see discussion]
Maiden Bore 1856 OS 6 inch 1st edn
Maiden Bore Cave 2001 OS Explorer 370 [beside Bonnet Stane]
SSE maiden + ? SSE bore + SSE cave
The name contains SSE bore in the sense of ‘something bored or perforated’. Rev. Small, intent on situating a Roman town here, mentions in passing ‘a large perforation through the rock called the Maiden-bore, because maidens only were supposed capable of passing through it. The passage had been originally very small, yet it is now so enlarged, in consequence of so many people trying to pass, or rather to creep, through it, that it will now admit the most bulky person’ (1823, 94).
Thirty years later the OS Name Book attaches the name Maiden Bore to the same rock, describing it as ‘a conspicuous and peculiarly shaped mass of rock, with a small artificial cave on the north side, which was made by the present Mr Ireland’s father of Upper Urquhart’ (28, 31), but gives no suggestion as to the origin of the name. The regularly shaped cave, referred to today as the Maiden Bore Cave, was thus made in the first half of the nineteenth century, or perhaps in the late eighteenth.
The mass of rock itself is now locally referred to as the Bunnet Stane (appearing partly Englished as Bonnet Stane on OS Explorer 370), although this more particularly attaches to the remarkable weathered protuberance resembling a bunnet or hat (or the head of some great prehistoric creature) on a thin neck.
A guide to the Lomond Hills Regional Park calls this site The Maiden Bower, re-interpreting bore as bower, and adding that it is “a lovers’ trysting place long thought to be the tombstone of a jilted local girl”, though it gives no source for this information.
This place-name appeared in printed volume 4