Thrown by a Giant?
Away back in the dim and distant ages of mythology a giant named Colly Camb was reputed to have resided among the rocks on the south side of Mount Blair, where his place of abode, or “Hole,” still bears his name.
Some would have it that he was one of the last of the race of Fingal, who lived in the third century, others hold that he was merely what may be termed an isolated giant.
Traditions respecting him are none too plentiful. He is said to have thrown the Sow Stone of Clachnockater, and the Gled Stane of West Mill—both immense boulders—from the top of Mount Blair.
It would appear that the inhabitants of West Mill had incurred the displeasure of the giant, and he threw the Gled Stane with the intention of demolishing their homestead, but the attempt proved a failure. Considering the weight of the missile, and the distance it was projected, it cannot be said that his aim was bad.
Another local tale relating to the stone was penned by Charles Rogers in his ‘Familiar Illustrations of Scottish Life’:
A correspondent in the parish of Glenisla, Forfar- shire, writes : — " Glenisla has its share of the great and wonderful in its traditions. Collie Cam is the great hero. His residence was a cave in Mount Blair, which is shown to this day. The young people are afraid of the name of this fabulous giant. He threw a stone of immense size from the top of Mount Blair to a distance of many miles. The stone is pointed out at West Mill near the public road. There is a story told about this stone. The servant-man of a late minister in Glenisla was always in the habit of asking what was the next work he had to do. This annoyed his master very much, and one day when he had asked the usual question, the minister told him to go to Mr Ferguson of West Mill, and ask him for the loan of the ' Glade stane.' Mr Ferguson treated the man to bread and cheese, and then showed him the stone. The man at once saw that he had been ' done,' and hastened to the manse to give the minister a good thrashing for sending him on such an errand."
And a third can be found in Chic Leven and Ken Roberts’ book, ‘Explore the Cateran Trail’:
‘A traditional legend relating to Mount Blair tells of two giants, Colly Camb and his wife Smoutachantay. They appear to have been a quarrelsome couple and did not live together. Colly making his home among the rocks on the south side of the ben in a place known as ‘Colly’s Hole’, while his wife lived in a fissure in the rock ‘Smoutachantay’s Hole’ on the west sde of the ben near Auchintaple. Colly, when angry, was in the habit of throwing large rocks around, and being annoyed at one time by the folks living in West Mill, he threw the massive Gled Stane, which landed on the hillside just east of Clachnockater. Colly fell foul of the locals in Blackwater and Lower Glenshee for raiding a mill and carrying off all their oatmeal. He was lured form his cave and killed by a large group of men mustered for that purpose. It is not known what happened to his wife.
Many years after the death of Colly two men ventured into his cave. They never reappeared but their voices were heard coming from the Alrick burn some miles away. Likewise Smoutachantay lured a traveller into her cave and he was never seen again."