Braid Hills, Edinburgh, Midlothian

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – NT 251 696

Archaeology & History

Braid Hills carving

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!

References:

  1. 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

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About megalithix

Occultist, prehistorian and independent archaeological researcher, specializing in prehistoric rock art, Neolithic, Bronze Age & Iron Age sites, and the animistic cosmologies of pre-Christian & traditional cultures.
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