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The Blue Stane

Sitting on a busy street corner in St Andrews lies an ancient relic from not only the town's history, but Scotland's history.

The Blue Stane is a large glacial rock that sits in the grounds of a pub once named after it. A plaque on the fence which surrounds it provides details of its historical significance and the myth which surrounds it.

It is said that the stone was thrown by a giant from the Pictish era at the settlement which would grow to become St Andrews. Legend tells that the relics of the Patron Saint were carried to Scotland by a monk named Regulus, or Rule. He had been told by an angel to gather some of the bones of Andrew and sail to the ends of the earth. When he was shipwrecked off the coast of Scotland, he found himself on the edge of a hunting ground belonging to one of the Pictish Kings. Upon meeting the curious travellers, King Hergust granted them permission to stay at his residence, which was normally used only by hunting parties.

As the angel had instructed, Regulus established a church on the site, which enraged a local giant. Determined to prevent the Christian faith from sweeping his territory, the giant lifted the great rock from the high ground of nearby Drumcarrow Craig and hurled it towards the new church being established by Regulus, hoping to crush the monk within.

Unfortunately for the giant, the rock fell short and landed at Magus Muir, a small wooded area better known as the site where Archbishop James Sharp was assassinated in 1679. For unknown reasons, the stone was moved several times, being placed in its current location during the Victorian era.

It is believed that the Blue Stane was the coronation stone for King Kenneth MacAlpine, the first king of both Picts and Gaels, who was crowned in 843 AD. Ever since, it has been thought to have been a meeting point for the country's authorities to swear allegiance to the Kings of Scotland.

It has also been used as a good luck talisman, with military leaders of old visiting the rock to ask for a victorious outcome when heading into battle. This belief in the stone providing magical fortune may also be connected to it being said to be a meeting point for the fairies.

So if you find yourself visiting St Andrews, take a moment to pause at the Blue Stane and ponder its history.

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