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Dunino Church and Den

The church may occupy a site on which a stone circle once stood, some of the stones can still be seen incorporated into the fabric of the church. In other stories the stones came from a circle on the other side of Dunino Den. It was quite common for churches to be built on much older pagan sites.

A typical developed site, the cross marked stone on which the 17th century sundial sits is said to have been carved around 800 AD which would make it a very early Christian site.

Close to the church entrance is a pathway, which runs past the side of the graveyard wall. This path eventually leads to a rock promontory above the Kinaldy burn, on which a hollowed rock pool is located, another place of ancient worship, said to be of a more sinister nature.

According to folklore these pools are where druid priests made human sacrifices to appease their gods. The blood was said to collect in the pool, and the broken bodies were flung into the burn below.

Although human sacrifices may have been held here it is unlikely, the pool was probably seen as a natural sacred place perhaps an opposite force to the nearby stone circle. A hollowed out footprint, suggests a place of ancient inauguration for early kings.

Rock cut steps lead down into Dunino Den, a narrow gorge where a large Celtic cross has been carved into the cliff face, the date of the carving is not known but it has been suggested it is relatively recent.

Directions: The church is reached from a minor road off the B9131.

Daniel Parkinson

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