Cat Heaps, Swanston, Edinburgh, Midlothian

Cairns (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – NT 2447 6828

Archaeology & History

Close to the giant cup-marked Caiy Stone, two very large prehistoric cairns were demolished for the purpose of making  the turnpike road.  Remains of human bones and several fragments of old weapons were found in them.  Fred Coles (1903) told us that:

“In the neighbourhood of this [i.e. Morton Hall], but further southwest, on the grounds of Comiston, were found, in forming the public road, under large heaps of stones, various sepulchral stone enclosures, in which were deposited urns with dead men’s ashes, and divers warlike weapons.” And again, when speaking of the levelling of a part of the ground close to the old (so-called Roman) road, by Sir John Clerk of Pennycuick, the same writer adds, there ” were discovered several stone coffins with human bones.”


  1. Coles, Fred, ‘Notice of…Cairns and Standing Stones in Midlothian and Fife,’ in PSAS 37, 1903.
  2. Harris, Stuart, The Place-Names of Edinburgh, Gordon Wright: Edinburgh 1996.
  3. Royal Commission for the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland, Midlothian and West Lothian, HMSO: Edinburgh 1929.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

This entry was posted in Cairns, Tombs, Tumuli, Midlothian, Scotland and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Cat Heaps, Swanston, Edinburgh, Midlothian

  1. megalithix says:

    Huge thanks for that Misty. I’ve edited it a little – hope that’s OK. Send us a few more if the urge takes you!
    Cheers – Paul

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