For reasons best known to herself the daughter of the Laird of Balquhain made a bet with a stranger that she could bake a batch of bannocks in less time than it took him to build a road to the top of Bennachie. Of course the stranger was the devil himself and on losing the bet he turned the unfortunate lady to stone as she fled from his advances.
This late Pictish monolith dates back some 1200 years and stands 3.2 metres tall. There are over 200 known symbol stones in Scotland and many more of them displaced or built into walls and dwellings. The Maiden Stone is probably the finest example of these.
In the last 10 years or so the Maiden Stone has been boxed up during the winter months. It’s not a pretty sight. An upright coffin like box greets the visitor with a sign which reads “This temporary shelter will be in place until the spring. It has been fitted to protect the site from the combined effects of rain and frost over the winter months.”
Inside the box is The Maiden Stone, one of the finest Pictish monuments in the north east of Scotland.
Or is it all an illusion?