Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Pitfar / Monksgrave Farm

Pitfar / Monksgrave - Powmill

The other weekend I was back home in Powmill after settling in at university. Didn't have very much to do on such a gloomy Sunday morning so went for a wonder across the fields and came across the ruin of a farm. There was a quite an atmosphere about the place , you approach along a tree lined lane and then find the ruins right in the middle of some open fields sheltered by a deciduous woodland. The site is really rather picturesque and peaceful which made me wonder as to why the farm would be left ruined and derelict and even became so in the first place.

The stone work featured in this building was rather interesting, roughly but beautifully dressed quoins and lintels around the doors and windows. Also rough rubble in places filling up windows no longer needed and even wood in places. Certainly gives the place great character and a nice feel for what the workmanship of the building would have been like.

Above the front door are a series of engravings. A crescent which after further research could possibly be the crescent moon of the Northern hemisphere meant to bring prosperity to farmers in such areas. There is a date, 1822 and initials , only one of which is legible (CHH).

When i got home i decided to do some research on the place and found some pretty interesting things out. Firstly about the name, this is an extract from the RCAHMS site.

OSA repeats the story of an alleged boundary dispute betweeen the Tullibardine family and the Abbots of Culross - one of whose monks swore that he stood on Culross lands and was then killed by a Tullibardine who found that the monk's boots contained earth from Culross; the monk was buried where he fell - hence the name. 
The RCAHMS says that the place is locally described as 'The Monk's Grove'. 
The ONB repeats the above story but adds that, until a few years before 1859, five or six large stones were standing on this place when the present proprietor had them removed. "The workmen who removed the stones dug down to a considerable depth thinking to find the remains of the murdered monk but nothing of the kind was found." 
OSA (Mr Graham) 1796; RCAHMS 1933; Name Book 1859. 

It was rather nice being able to gather some different inspiration and soak in surrounding that werent Dundee for a change. I had some Runrig playing on the ipod when I was taking photographs and wandering about. It really gave the place such a sense of atmosphere. A rather enjoyable afternoon after a few weeks of chaos in Dundee during freshers !!

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