Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Benarty Hill, Suit of Cards

clubs_ace.pngBenarty Hill lies south of Loch Leven in Perth and Kinross. Known locally as the ‘sleeping giant’.

I came across a question asked some years back (that no-one could answer) about the Suits of Cards on Benarty Hill. These were said to be four suits of cards planted on the elevation of the east side of the hill, opposite Loch Leven in the form of plantations in the shapes of Hearts, Diamonds, Spades, and Clubs, on the hilltop.

They were last seen in the 1940s, but when the writer returned after the war, the story was that a Mr Cruickshanks (owner of a sawmill near Cluny, Cardenen) had felled the fir trees shortly after the war began, so they aerial view of the trees could not be used as a navigational aid by enemy aircraft.

Clearly, not an aerial view that Google, or any of the other online maps can help with, the question was whether or not there were possibly any aerial photographs, or paintings from the period, that illustrated the plantations.

None of the usual sources have come up with any info, pics or paintings of this man-made feature, nor have any old maps shown the suits as a ground feature, so I’m appealing for anyone that ever heard of, saw them, or has a pic to let us know, so we can help make sure it’s not lost or forgotten.


We have been able to add more details regarding this feature to our Wiki page, at the following link:

Secret Scotland – Benarty Hill Suit of Cards


March 7, 2007 - Posted by | Appeal, Lost


  1. I live in the Benarty area and have never heard of this story but I suggest you try the Foresty Commission who have detailed maps of areas planted with trees.


    Comment by Mike | June 19, 2007

  2. 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.


    Comment by Anne | July 16, 2009

  3. Many thanks for the note Anne.

    (Coincidentally, I see it appeared just three days short of exactly two years since I made the original post.)

    It’s great to get confirmation of the story from an independent source, and we can elevate this story to a proper entry in the Secret Scotland Wiki with confidence.

    I still wonder if there is an old biscuit tin hidden away somewhere with black & White photograph inside, taken by some lucky flyer of the day.

    Liked your local area pics – HUGE!


    Comment by Apollo | July 16, 2009

  4. I was alerted to your site by Anne who is my sister. Somewhere in my possession is a picture of my father on a tractor at haytime, which would be about this time of year, and some of the woods in the background. I’ll attempt to unearth this and send it ot you if possible


    Comment by Jack | July 16, 2009

  5. Thanks for the offer of the pic Jack – obviously I wish you all the best with with the search 🙂

    The subject now has its own page:

    Secret Scotland – Benarty Hill Suit of Cards

    Where you can get in touch privately using the Secret Scotland – Contact Form, or direct by email to the admin AT


    Comment by Apollo | July 16, 2009

  6. My sister asked me only this morning if I remembered these card woods. I did not. I wrote details on google and you popped up to confirm her memory.Thank you so much. JoAnne Carter


    Comment by JoAnne Carter | May 29, 2012

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