The River Findhorn – Part III: A Story of Tragic Love

The River Findhorn – Part III

In this part of ‘The River Findhorn’ series, we will take a closer look at a single stone, standing firmly, close to the river banks. This stone is over a thousand years old and tells a romantic story… with a tragic ending. Then again, what else could we expect from the old barbaric history of Scotland.

A story of tragic love…

The story must have taken place prior to the final overthrow of the Norse invaders in 1010. The Danes took control over parts of Moray’s lowland and moved further inland; pillaging, and burning without mercy. Though, their barbaric deeds did not go unopposed…

King Fergus, based at the royal residence of Lochindorb, mustered a powerful army of Highlanders and lay in wait for the Norseman by the Findhorn. The conflict was short-lived. The Moray men gained a complete victory, carrying off the Danish leader, Prince Harold, to Lochindorb Castle, where he was placed a prisoner of war. Gradually, the invaders were all driven to their ships, and peace and prosperity once more began to settle over the whole province.

The old Pictish Princess Stone tells a romantic story that ends in a tragedy.

Some time later, King Sewyn of Denmark sent an envoy to the Celtic Court who successfully negotiated a treaty of peace and alliance in the form of an arranged marriage between the captured Prince and Malvina, King Fergus’s only daughter. By this time the Prince and Princess, who were not informed of their fathers’ plans, had fallen in love and planned to run away from Lochindorb to Denmark.

They reached the Findhorn at Dulsie, but could not cross due to the high water. Both riding the King’s favorite grey horse, they plunged into the torrent but were washed away. Their bodies, still clasped together, were taken out of the river at Glenferness. The Princess stone, originally carved with Celtic inscriptions, is said to mark their burial place. And so ends a story of love…

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