Cup-and-Ring Stone: OS Grid Reference – NT 251 696
Archaeology & History
This is a fine-looking old cup-and-ring stone! Although no longer in situ (one of those really important golf courses needed to be built, so it had to go!), the 3 or 4 cup-and-rings seen here, carved at the end of what look like some sort of ‘stalks’, emerging from a distinctive radial under-curve, gave me a somewhat anthropomorphic impression of chaps in a boat — perhaps sailing into the Firth o’ Forth a short distance away! The Scottish Royal Commission (1929) report said the following of the stone:
“In 1897 a boulder of white sandstone with cup-and-ring markings on its surface was discovered on the Braid Hills golf course, and it was later presented to the National Museum of Antiquities. The stone measures almost 3 feet by 1 foot 9 inches, by 1 foot thick and is roughly oblong. The markings comprise seven cups in all, and at least three of these are completely surrounded by a ring and cut by a radial channel.”
Although nothing was said in the RCAHMS account, the stone gives one the impression it was associated with a tomb. And I know it aint the same, but when I first saw this carving, it reminded me of the Ri Cruin carving in Kilmartin, Argyll. It’s the potential “boat” feature that did it for me!
- Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland, Inventory of Monuments and Constructions in the Counties of Midlothian and West Lothian, HMSO: Edinburgh 1929.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian