We didn’t go too far today, just reaching the southern boundary of Edinburgh in search of a couple of the standing stones which still stand within in the city.
Driving out through Morningside we soon reached the edge of the Braid Hills, a green oasis slowly being swallowed up by Edinburgh’s expanding suburbs. On the edge of the Braid Road, set back from the road in a niche in a garden wall, is a small standing stone called the Buck Stane.
It once stood further up the hill, when this whole area would have been green and wild, but as the population grew the advance of housing developments led to this stone being built into a garden wall. It has now been rescued from that predicament and stands in its current position.
Measuring just a metre tall, it’s quite a small stone, but it’s far from insignificant. Legend has it that it came by its name as it was the point at which the king released his buckhounds while hunting on the Boroughmuir. Furthermore, this small stone was deemed significant enough to give its name to some 24 (or more) streets in the surrounding area.
Not too far away in a neighbouring suburb is the Caiy Stane, a standing stone on a completely different scale to the Buck Stane. Standing almost three metres tall, this massive slab rises out of the ground with an almost tulip-like shape.
Unfortunately being in such an accessible position the Caiy Stane has suffered at the hands of vandals, and its rear side has been sprayed with graffiti. But it is still possible to make out a line of six cup marks stretching across it.
Like the Buck Stane, the Caiy Stane would originally have stood on open moorland, and seems to have been part of a wider complex of monuments.
Nearby, to the east of the Caiy Stane, were a pair of large cairns known as the Cat Stanes, and beyond them a second standing stone known as the Camus Stone. In the surrounding area hundreds of skeletons were found during road-building in the early 19th century.
Both the Cat Stanes and the Camus Stone were destroyed during the building work, and only the Caiy Stane now remains.