The Legend of Martin's Stane
Kirkton of Strathmartine (aka West March), Parish of Mains and Strathmartine. This particular stone has a local legend attached to its history, as local rhyme tells us;
‘Tempted at Pitempton
Draigled at Baldragon
Stricken at Strathmartine
And killed at Martin’s Stane.’
The story was that of a local farmer, a father of nine maidens, allegedly sending his eldest to nearby Pitempton well for water, several hours had passed and worried, he sent another out to look for her and so on and so forth until he himself went to look for them all. Arriving at the well he found the remains of his beloved daughters and beside them the culprit, a dragon or serpent. The distraught Father raised the alarm to the village and responding to the cry was a young blacksmith, Martin, the gallant love of one of the daughters, arriving at the scene with only a hammer, he stuck the monster, a cry was heard and the beast fled, Martin followed in haste, a pursuit that would lead them towards the Kirkton of Strathmartine, some two miles North of Pitempton Well.
The Dragon became wearied by its efforts (and large lunch) struggled to continue and Martin struck once more, the blow smashing its head over a large stone, killing it. The stone is locally known as “Martin’s Stane”.
Whilst most of the story is sure to be local myth the landmarks themselves do still exist and the legend itself is captured far and wide. Dundee City Centre boasts a statue of the Strathmartine Dragon outside the former D.M Browns store whilst an area of the city is named “Ninewell’s” incorporating a hospital of the same name and a public house called the Nine Maidens ensuring that the legend will forever live on. The legendary well where the ill fated girls were slain was open and surrounded by a four foot stone wall although it is no longer visible, covered by a local farmer after significant amounts of crop damage by visitors.
It is known that a chapel stood at Pitempton near the Dighty water although no traces of this building have ever been found. The farmhouse first appears on the 1860 OS maps as a quadrangular building of which most had been destroyed by 1900 however a new farmhouse was built in its place it too is also named Pitempton Farm and is awaiting new owners and renovation to ensure it survives its dilapidated state.