The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Glen Ellrig

Standing Stones


A bright, if breezy day on the Slamannan Plateaux with clouds scudding east, their dark bellies hinting that the weather could change any minute. It didn't and good old Sol hung in there. A fine day to seek out a couple of stones clustered in this area (according to my old OS 1:25,000 Pathfinder map).

Didn't take long to find. Odd setting I thought. Strange 'rashie' field but the circle of trees surrounding the stone had a charming air. Beech and Elm, although the wee Elms seem to be on their way out. The stone was of sandstone and I fancy I can see hints of the wavelets left in the sand during the Carboniferous. Stone and trees sat within a raised platform, having me think that there was a cairn associated with the stone.

The land about still didn't feel aright and I explored further as the map had referred to 'stones'. New pond for shooting and some of the old shelterbelts seem to have disappeared. Some ruined building and a collapsing dyke. Maybe the stone is built into the dyke. Still no sign. A buzzard screeches above as a cloud passes across the sun, making me shiver. Lots of grasshoppers, meadow browns, dragonflies and a jangling of Goldfinches bring me and the sun back. I returned to the other stone and said goodbye, generally feeling good about the spot.

Went on to visit Boagstown and South Bankhead but not before the "Danger!. Deep Water" (or words to that effect) sign. I reckon there has been a bit of opencast mining here. Could explain the disappearnce of one of the stones.

On getting home I decided to view Canmore before logging into the TMA. Ahh how to steal a soul's thunder..............

...........Stone 'A', situated in a small paddock on rising ground, is 0.4m by 0.2m and 1.0m high, with its main axis E-W.

Stone 'B', on top of a small rounded hillock within a circular plantation ring, measures 0.5m by 0.15m and 1.4m high.

Surveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (AC) 24 April 1959

Both stones show little evidence of weathering and are probably not prehistoric.
RCAHMS 1963, visited 1954

The more northerly of the two stones recorded by the OS (1959) could not be located at the date of survey, due to the disturbance of the ground in the course of opencast mining operations, but the more southerly of the two is preserved on the top of hillock at NS 8853 7385 and matches the description of the OS (1959), having an enclosing bank around it. A local informant described the stone as a marker for a dog burial, which would confirm the view of the previous authority (RCAHMS 1963) that the stones are not antiquities in view of the limited signs of weathering on the surface of the stones, a view with which the current author would concur.
Visited by RCAHMS (PJD) 27 July 1992.........

...........Ho Hum. Guess I just saved some other numpty making the journey. Glad I found out the hard way all the same and did manage to read the Earth aright.

If anyone does fancy visiting, I reckon it may be best to park at NS882738, the former entrance to the opencast, as long as you don't block access completely. Mind out for the fly-tipping and burnt out cars. This is bandit country.
Corbie Posted by Corbie
22nd July 2004ce
Edited 22nd July 2004ce

Comments (1)

I'm a bit late in comimg to this topic having only found it, however:

I visited the site c1959. A Schoolmate of mine came from nearby Shieldhill and I was living in Maddiston at the time. I used to visit him frequently and we cycled all over the Shieldhill, California, and Avonbridge area and it was he that showed me the site.
If my memory serves me correctly both stones were sited on a raised circular platform and it saddens me to read that one of them has been destroyed.
My schoolmate told me that he had been told that the stones marked the burial place of the soldiers who died in William Wallace's battle of Falkirk in 1298.
As nobody knows where the actual battle site was there might be some truth in it and it seems to me the stones were erected to commemorate something special.
As an aside my schoolmate told me that when he was out walking with his dad and their dog near the site the dog refused to go near the area of the stones. So who knows ?.
Posted by earlshill
2nd December 2008ce
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