Monday, April 4, 2011

The Devil's Beef Tub

The Devil’s Beef Tub is a deep, hollow in the hills north of the Scottish town of Moffat. Forming the 500-foot deep hollow are four hills, Great Hill, Peat Knowe, Annanhead Hill, and Ericstane Hill. The name is derived from its use by Border Rievers to hide stolen cattle (beef) and the chief users of the hollow - the Johnstone clan whose enemies referred to as “devils”.

In his novel, Redgauntlet, author Sir Walter Scott said, “It looks as if four hills were laying their heads together, to shut out daylight from the dark hollow space between them. A d----d deep, black, blackguard-looking abyss of a hole it is.”

1 comment:

Kim (from Edinburgh) said...

The Devil's Beef Tub belonged to the Moffat Clan up until the 17th Century when all of their lands passed to the Johnston Clan following the culmination of blood feud. The Moffat's were almost wiped out by the Johnston's at the feud accumulated in 1557. The Johnston's, in true Scottish style, set fire to a church with the most important members of the Moffat family inside and killing anyone who attempted to leave. By 1628 the Johnston's had possession of all of the Moffat lands.