Some time it was believed that the spot where was once Gordon’s Cross was a place of execution. This was later declared false and in a journal from 1852 an elderly man tells the real story of Gordon’s Cross. Adam Gordon, Dean of Caithness, was the youngest son of Alexander, the first Earl of Huntly. The first, George Gordon of Beldornie was the Dean’s second son and was twice married, first to a daughter of Rose of Belivat by whom be had one son, George, who succeeded him. His second marriage was to a daughter of Leslie of Tullich of Kininvie with whom he had two sons, John and James. When George died a dispute arose among his three sons about the place where their father should be buried. His eldest son wanted him to be buried in the cathedral of Elgin where both the Earl of Huntly and their grandfather lay. While the two younger sons, persuaded by their mother, insisted upon burying him in the choir of the church of Mortlach beside their relations, the Leslies.

When the funeral had reached Pitglassie, the dispute had become so violent between them that the body had to be laid down there. A conflict ensued in which the two youngest sons, with the presence of their relations the Leslies, were too powerful for their brother. He was compelled to return home and allow them to proceed as they had intended. The corpse was then taken up and buried immediately before the altar with the Leslies on one hand and the Cummings on the other. It was the custom of those times to erect a cross upon the spot where a corpse had been laid down and accordingly one was setup on this occasion, on the right-hand side of the old road near Pitglassie, at a place still called Gordons Gross and where a round stone, like a mill stone with a hole in the middle of it in which the standard of the cross was fixed, still remains.”

[1] The older folks seem to have said the cross should have been that of Aberdeen. The stone has been moved from its original location and doesn’t any longer represent the spot where the cross once stood.


[1] Banffshire Journal and General Advertiser, 26 October 1852, Gordon’s Cross, Mortlach.