Stone Circle (destroyed): OS Grid Reference – NT 774 292
Also known as:
- Five Stones
- The Tryst
Archaeology & History
Less than a mile northwest of the hillfort on Linton Hill, modern OS-maps show the field-name of ‘Five Stone Field’ which is where, in bygone years, another important stone circle once stood. Today unfortunately, not a single stone remains. As the Scottish Royal Commission (1956) lads told:
“About a mile NE of Frogden, on the N side of the road between Frogden and Greenlees, there were formerly five or six upright stones forming a circle, ‘about the size of a cock-pit’ (1792 Statistical Account). This circle, which was adopted as a rendezvous by Border raiders in the Middle Ages and became known as The Tryst, has long since disappeared, but its approximate site is indicated on the OS map by the name Five…Stone Field.”
One of many stone circles used as an old moot, or gathering spot. This was described in one of the many footnotes to Sir Walter Scott’s (1802) Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, in which he told:
“At Linton, in Roxburghshire, there is a circle of stones surrounding a smooth plot of turf, called the Tryst, or place of appointment, which tradition avers to have been the rendezvous of the neighbouring warriors. The name of the leader was cut in the turf, and the arrangement of the letters announced to his followers the course which he had taken.”
This tradition was echoed around the same period in Robert Forsyth’s (1805) massive work on the history of Scottish life and landscape, saying:
“In different parishes, such as Moorbattle, Linton, and others, are to be found what are called tryst stanes. These are great stones commonly situated on high grounds. They are placed perpendicularly in rows, not unfrequently in a circular direction. It is said, as also the name imports, that in times of hostility they marked the places of resort for the borderers when they were assembling for any expedition of importance.”
- Burl, Aubrey, The Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany, Yale University Press 2000.
- Forsyth, Robert, The Beauties of Scotland – volume 2, Thomas Bonar: Edinburgh 1805.
Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland, Roxburghshire – volume 1, HMSO: Edinburgh 1956.
- Scott, Walter, Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, James Ballantyne: Kelso 1802.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian