Nine Maidens' Day Community Celebration
The communities of Glenogilvy and ENKCA cemented a new tradition, begun over the past two years, in celebrating Nine Maidens Day recently.
On Sunday, 13th June, a group of ENKCA members set out from Easter Denoon to meet ‘the Glenners’ of Glenogilvy and friends near the march fence running between Ark Hill and Auchterhouse Hill, separating Glenogilvy from Denoon.
It is recorded that the womenfolk of Glamis parish used to travel to Abernethy in Fife, to celebrate Nine Maidens Day on 15th June each year, until the practice was banned in the mid-1700s on the grounds that the Glamis’ linen industry suffered from the women’s day off.
According to legend St Donald and his nine daughters lived in Glenogilvy until his death when the nine maidens were granted land in Abernethy by the Pictish King. From there, they travelled over Scotland spreading the gospel. As each of the maidens died, her body was taken back to Abernethy and buried under an old oak tree.
This year, at a wooden bridge close to the boundary fence, the Glenners were welcomed by the ENKCA group with a dram drunk from the Nine Maidens' Quaich. The united group then walked back towards Denoon and stopped en route at the Haining, a small settlement with some interesting archaeological features.
Local historian, David Orr of Kirriemuir, explained his research on the ruins and handed out maps of the settlement.
The party continued back to Denoon and stopped briefly at Wester Denoon Farm where David spoke on his earlier finding of three marriage stones all with different dates spread over a relatively short number of years.
The day finished with a splendid community meal at Easter Denoon and for the survivors, an archaeological field walk – with a metal detector.
The sum of £300 raised will go towards ENKCA’s fund for the building of its planned Community Hub, and will be doubled by the addition of matched funding from the Scottish Rural Development Programme.
Hugh Forbes of Glenogilvy drew the ENKCA 50/50 lottery won by Linda Breckenridge who received £74.08p. Runners up, Ian and Dorothy Christie of Glamis, and David and Isobel Christie of Eassie Mill claimed prizes of £9.26p.