A recently-discovered “manhood stone” in Deeside has been called an “absolute beast” after weighing in at 456lbs.
But that isn’t going to stop the world’s best heavies from attempting to lift it when they arrive in Braemar later this month.
The Invercauld manhood stone was unearthed in the undergrowth in a corner of the Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park, the venue for the annual Braemar Gathering which takes place this year on September 7.
The massive boulder, which weighs 32.7 stone, was traditionally used to test the strength of young adolescent males who were asked to demonstrate they had grown into men by lifting it up to their waist.
Earlier this week, the item was placed on the scales at the Royal Lochnagar Distillery, while Braemar officials invited people to guess its weight on social media, with the winners being offered tickets for the world-renowned gathering.
It is now sitting outside the Duke of Rothesay Highland Games pavilion, but a group of strongmen will strive to lift it when they visit the site on June 30.
Louise Kelly, venue manager, said yesterday: “It is an absolute beast, but there has been a lot of contact from people since we discovered the manhood stone.
“It isn’t something which many people will be able to lift. But the guys who have taken a look at it, and who have knowledge of the Dinnie Stones, are sure that it can be lifted.
“It doesn’t connect to the games at the Braemar Gathering, but all of the estates in the area would have had a testing stone.
“Every young man who was coming of age would have tried to lift it above their waist.
“We knew a stone was lying there, but we didn’t know its significance until now.”
David Geddes, president of the Braemar Royal Highland Society, said, tongue-in-cheek: “It’s certainly a bit heavier than your average stone”.
He added: “There are a group of people who are planning to come here at the end of June.
“They include Brett Nicol, James Grahame and Martin Jancsics, all of whom have previously lifted the Dinnie Stones.
“It will be interesting to see how they get on with the manhood stone.”