Benarty Hill Suit of Cards
Benarty Hill Suit of Cards was a unique feature which once lay on the east side of Benarty Hill, and comprised four plantations, each arranged in the shape of one the four suits of card: Hearts, Diamonds, Spades, and Clubs.
Benarty Hill, 356 metres (1,160 ft), lies to the south of Loch Leven in Perth and Kinross, and is known locally as the Sleeping Giant. As there do not appear to be any discernible ground features relating to the shaped plantations, our marker on the aerial view below has been placed on the summit of the hill.
The plantations were said to have last been seen in the 1940s, but when the writer of that account returned to the area in the years following the end of World War II, they were not to be found, and the writer was told the story of a Mr Cruickshanks, described as the owner of a sawmill near Cluny and Cardenden, who had felled the fir trees that formed the suits shortly after the start of World War II, in order to prevent their distinctive aerial view from being used as an aid to navigational by enemy aircraft.
We have received a further recollection which confirms our initial discovery:
I was brought up at Findatie Farm. My father bought the farm in 1947 and we played in the woods on the hill (Benarty) known as The Heart, The Spade and The Diamond, the highest. The Club may have been farther east at the boundary with Kirkness farm, where there were the remains of a wood.
My father sold the woods to Mr Cruikshanks, the timber merchant, who subsequently felled them, in the ’50s sometime, I think.
Further to this confirmation, we were grateful to receive permission to use the photograph which appears above, which captured part of the Benarty Hill plantations as described by the accompanying text:
I have sent a photo of my father at haymaking time with the eastern end of Benarty in the background and 2 of the plantations can be seen clearly.
The highest one is the Diamond and the lower to the left is the Spade. The Heart was a corresponding distance farther to the left, just out of the photo.
The photo must have been taken in the early '50s.
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