Mount Blair standing at 744 metres is located between Glenshee and Glenisla and is a dominant feature on the Cateran Trail from Dalnaglar Castle until Kirkton of Glenisla. The sweeping, symmetrical cone of Mount Blair (Hill of the Moor) offers excellent walking. Standing boldly between these two glens, the hill is heathery with some rough and crag grit lower slopes. Mount Blair has a long history with prehistoric sites, some famous wells and even a suicide grave under the summit cairn.
There are also legends associated with Mount Blair, these relate to Colly Camb who was a giant who lived in a cave on the south slope of Mount Blair. Colly’s giant wife was Smoutachanty and her cave was further up the Isla at Auchintaple. It is said that Colly would go into great rages and would pick up large rock and throw them down at people and dwelling in the glen below. The Gled Stane and Sow Stane are two of them.
Colly was finally lured to his death by a band of locals who stoned him for repeatedly robbing from their corn mill. Nobody went near the cave for years, and then two brave men ventured in to explore it. A while later someone heard their voices from underground near the Alrick Burn almost two miles away. The two men were never seen again.
Here is the entry for Mount Blair in the Cateran’s Common Wealth new place name research shortly to be published:
MOUNT BLAIR ALY PER/GLI ANG R NO1662
Month-blair 1590s Pont 27
Mount Blair c.1750 Roy
Month-blair 1783 Stobie
Mount Blair 1867 OS 6 inch 1st edn PER and CLA XXXIII
G monadh + en Blair
G monadh is a borrowing from British or Pictish and is found in Welsh mynydd ‘mountain, hill, moorland’. The element is discussed in Watson (1926, 391-407; Barrow 1998, 62-5, with distribution map on 66). The parish and county boundary passes through the summit of Mount Blair, and so the name might refer to an old territory of Blair (perhaps even the original *Blair of Gowrie)? Or perhaps it is the remnant of the name of that part of the Grampians (the Month) which formed the boundary of or was associated with the *Blair of Gowrie.
Watson discusses Mountblairy in Banffshire and has the blàr element meaning ‘dappled’ (Watson 1926, 406). G blàr can also mean ‘plain, muir’ (PNF 5, 298). For the element blàr in Menteith see McNiven (2011, 110-14).