'On the granite stone bridge that crosses the River Dee at Potarch there were, and still are, two large stones weighing about 8cwt the pair, placed in a recess'. Donald Dinnie 1860

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2023 Donald Dinnie Games Champion Chris Beetham

2023 Jan Todd Games Champion Hannah Linzay








Is there a test of strength more pure than putting the wind beneath a natural stone!?


Welcome to the Dinnie Stones Website
Where the Legend Continues

We are deeply saddened by the passing of our Chieftain, David Webster O.B.E. RIP Davie and thank you for all you've left us. We will never forget you!

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Donald Dinnie Day, The Gathering VIII will take place on Sunday 4th August 2024 at Potarch. Please keep an eye on the News page for more details.

Click here for the 2024 Donald Dinnie Day Gathering event schedule

A huge and genuine thank you to everyone who has donated to our GoFundMe. Thanks to your generousity we have reached our target and the future of our wonderful event is secure! You can view our 2023 balance sheet which shows exactly what your generous donations are being used for by clicking this link Gofundme 2023 Accounts. The 2024 accounts will also be made availabe following this year's event.

Rediscovered by David Webster OBE in 1953, The Dinnie Steens as they are known locally are 2 giant granite boulders located outside the Old Potarch Hotel between Aboyne & Banchory, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Together they weigh 332.49Kg or 733Lbs in old money. The 'smaller' of the stones weighs 144.47kg (318.5lbs) and the larger a massive 188.02kg (414.5lbs).

Legendary Scottish strongman Donald Dinnie was born at Birse by Aboyne in 1837, the son of stonemason, Robert Dinnie. Donald Dinnie was the world's first sporting superstar and achieved international fame from his exploits around the world.

In the 1830’s huge iron rings were attached to the stones so that they could act as counterweights for scaffolding during the maintenance of Potarch Bridge.

Now ordinary folk would struggle to lift even the smallest Dinnie Stone, however in 1860 Donald Dinnie famously carried them both with his bare hands across the width of Potarch Bridge  – a distance of 17' 1 1/2"!!

The challenge went unanswered for over 100 years until 1972, when Belfast man Jack Shanks, weighing just 11 1/2 stone, successfully hoisted the giant boulders with his bare hands. He returned the following year and walked himself into the history books by recreating Dinnie's feat and proving to the world that it could be done. Few have successfully lifted both Dinnie Stones unassisted over the years since Dinnie, showing just how difficut a task it is. Carrying them unassisted remains the Ultimate challenge!

To date the Dinnie Stones have only ever been lifted and carried over the distance barehanded by 7 men:-  Donald's father Robert Dinnie (according to Donald's own account), Donald Dinnie himself in 1860 then Jack Shanks in 1973. Pro Strong Man competitor Mark Felix successfully completed the challenge at the Aboyne Games in 2014. On Sunday August the 6th 2017 at The Gathering Brian Irwin from Belfast, Northern Ireland and Mark Haydock from Preston, England added their names to the history books by successfully carrying the Steens across Potarch Bridge. Pete Seddon is the latest to add his name to the list by successfully carrying the stones across Potarch Bridge on 18th April 2018.

In recent times two modern era challenges have emerged. One is to lift and hold the stones for time. This was first introduced at the Aboyne Hughland Games in August 2016 by Drs Terry & Jan Todd and David Webster OBE. The first holder of the record was James Gardner with a very impressive 12.8 seconds. This has been pushed out to an incredible 46.3 seconds by Mark Haydock. A further challenge to evolve has been to pick the stones up in a farmers walk style and walk as far as possible without seting them down. This record is currently held by one of the most loved British strongman competitors ever and former Europe's strongest man, Laurence Shahlaei. Big Loz attended the 7th Donald Dinnie Day on Sunday 7th August 2023 and not only did he complete the 17' 1.5" challenge laid down by Donald Dinnie himself, but he also pushed out his existing world record of 14' 10" to an incredible 22' 4"!!

The Potarch Hotel was closed for renovations in 2013 and the Steens were held in care by the Aboyne Highland Games committee. Renovations are now complete and in August 2016 the Steens were returned to their historical home in the new Potarch Cafe & Restaurant where they can now be seen and enjoyed by strength athletes the world over.

Have you lifted the stones? Please feel free to contact us with details of your adventure along with photos and / or links to videos and we will be delighted to add your name and welcome you to the Brotherhood of the Stones.

Click here to access the Google Maps location of the Dinnie Stanes at Potarch

Thine very truly D Dinnie

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Sponsored by The Stark Center for Physical Culture & Sports

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The Old Potarch Hotel. Now the Potarch Cafe & Restaurant and location of the Dinnie Stanes

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Website created and maintained by Stevie Shanks © 2016 ... thedinniestones.com