The Maiden's Leap

Jump right into the story of the Maiden's Leap in Scots - watch our animation or read our poem!

Animated Scots Poem

The legend of the Maiden’s Leap is set over 400 years ago at Huntingtower Castle in Perthshire. This short poem by Fiona Davidson tells the story in Scots. Have a read of the poem below or listen to an extended version read out loud in this animated film. 

Are there any Scots words you don’t know yet? Take a look at this handy guide.

A big thank you to the S1 pupils of Perth High School for their contributions!

lang syne - long ago

cried - called

yin/twa tours - one/two towers

thrawn - stubborn

bide - stay/live

maist ithers - most others

vyce - voice

fricht - fright

keeked - looked

loup - jump

cooried - snuggled

neist - next

Lang syne, there wis a lassie -

Dorothea wis her name.

She steyed at Huntintour

in a castle she cried hame.

This castle wis unusual

an wis no quite aw it seemed -

fur it wisnae yin bit twa tours

wi a fearsum gap atween.

Noo Bonnie Dorothea

wis in luve wi a lad, John.

Her faither didnae bless this

an her mither wis fair thrawn.

Sae whan John cam tae veesit Dorothea,

they thocht best,

thit she’d bide in the East tour

an thit he’d stey in the West.

This yin nicht, Dorothea

thocht thit she an John should speak.

sae waited til maist ithers

in the castle wur asleep.

She heided tae the West tour

but her mither’s vyce caw’d oot,

“That’s no you, Dorothea,

oot yer bed, creepin aboot?”

In fricht, young Dorothea

ran upstairs an oot the door

thit led oot tae the rooftap

whaur she’d nivver been afore.

She keeked doon at the gap that

lay atween thae twa big tours.

Tae get back tae her bedroom

she’d nae choice but tae loup ower!

Her mither heided back doon,

thinkin she hud been misled.

Meanwhile, oor Dorothea

quickly cooried intae bed.

The neist day Dorothea

met wi John an ran awa

sae they could baith be mairried

an thegither efter a.

Mony thanks...

...tae Dr Michael Dempster fur help an advice wi Scots leid yaised in The Maiden’s Leap poem.

Poems from Young Makars

There are many tales about Huntingtower Castle - from visits by Mary Queen of Scots to the story of Dorothea and her leap of faith. There are also lots of ghost stories including tales that say Dorothea herself, also known as Lady Greensleeves, still haunts the towers. Pupils from Perth High School have written their own poems in Scots that are inspired by the stories of Huntingtower Castle.

Make your own Dorothea in a tower!

Fancy crafting your own person in a tower?

Gather together a cardboard tube, some paper/card, pencils, scissors, tape, glue and wool/string, and follow our nifty instructions.