An early morning visit, I couldn't find any where good to park, drove right past it, pointed it out to Eric, then proceeded to get myself lost in a housing estate. I had to retrace my route back to the roundabout until I saw the well known burger shop and the petrol station, past there onto the industrial estate. Parking was obtained in the front car park of Xtreme karting, they didn't know about it though, which serves them right for purposely spelling words wrong, where will that end.
Like Bigsweetie before me, despite the very modernity of the very immediate surroundings I rather liked this place. Eric and myself had the whole site to ourselves, xcepting a single dog walker, she took her poops home with her. I didnt much graffiti either.
This is a strange site, not the roads and stuff, the site it self. Are the three standing stones part of a larger circle like a Clava cairn ? Is the mound a barrow, a chambered cairn ? or an artificial mound ? has it ever been xcavated ? I suppose it's too much to ask if the stones are in their original places.
From the mound we cross over the road and cross over the M8 on the big footbridge, then cross another duel carriage way (don't try this at home) to get to the outlier. My memory might not be xact but wasn't this stone once in different surroundings, like a garden or something. Anyway.
Its a good tall stone.
Which is all one can really say from looking at it through the bars of the fence.
Back to the mound , we decide, to lie in wait for the next plane, Eric is lying on the mound looking upwards, I am crouched behind the mound intending to catch both in the same xciting picture, I like planes, their big and noisy, I like stones and mounds their soft and quiet, bringing the two together is like finding out that rain can be drunk.
Am not sure whether the nearby industrial estate has just grown so much that the directions given by others are now obselete but I would suggest that anyone who wishes to witness just how much of the modern world has engulfed this site follow these simple directions.
Come off the roundabout by the petrol station and take the first left turn into the industrial estate. Take first right turn onto Chariot Way (I kid you not). Next right turn in Hully Hill Road; park along here and make your way towards to the tree lined area across the road. (You can actually see the smallest of the stones if you look to your right as you drive past the petrol station) Then, sit and wait 5 minutes for the first plane to fly overhead, so low that you think it may land on the cairn itself!
As a local who grew up about a mile along the Ratho road (the Baird Road end), I know this site pretty well. Which is why I'm slightly bamboozled as to why the label on this page's header puts it down as having an "artificial mound"! It's not artificial at all - the cairn is the real deal. The only thing that's modern about it is the perimeter wall, which wasn't there when I was a kid and, I think, was added as a consolidation measure by the council when they tarted the place up in, if memory serves, the 1980s. Prior to that, it was a jungle in there, and was a great place for us local kids to romp around in and scare each other with stories of witches scarificing children on top of the cairn under the full moon! :-)
I wouldn't like to count the number of times I've driven past here... not sure I'll be back much though. I felt the place had a miserable feel... in an absolutely disgusting state, used as a playground by local kids. Two of the stones have serious red graffitti. Gave the stones my apologies before I left, I will think of their sorry plight each time I pass.
Directions to the site: follow the A89 towards Broxburn from the Newbridge roundabout and turn left after the garage. Left again, behind the garage, to the dead end. The site is on the right hand side, announced by a worn out board.
Access: Right next to the road and up a short path about 30m. There is a wide gate which was padlocked, but also a reasonably wide gap alongside. There is a rocky path leading up to and amongst the stones.
Huly Hill (AKA Newbridge) and Lochend Stone (outlier)
The signpost at the entrance to here has all but worn away- if you stand at the correct angle you can still read some of it, but mostly it just says "Dode" in bright red spray paint. The path to the site is littered with pornography, McDonalds shit and an amazing amount of broken glass. This site has everything for the Urban Pagan- aircraft taking off almost overhead, stones aligning with the golden arches of McDonalds, building sites and beautiful industrial estates. And, amidst this all, the monument of Huly Hill. That this monument remains is an amazing testimony to the builders- how it laughs in the face of it all. Long after the McDonalds has crumbled to dust, when, no longer planes fly in the sky above here, Huly Hill will remain. The mound is about 30 m in diameter and three monoliths watch over it. The two westernmost stones have deliberately been aligned so their broadest sides point the antiquarians gaze eastwards- 'look', they say, 'this is where we fit into this ancient landscape'. They point towards Arthurs Seat and Corstorphine Hill, the latter of which (only last week) I found out has cup markings on a rock outcrop which just blew my mind. The smallest monolith appears aligned with Arthurs Seat when viewed from the top of the mound and its streamlined shape points eastwards. Just over the massive motorway intersection is the Lochend Stone, a possible outlier to here, but now can't be seen as it's hidden in the 'Bodycote Materials Testing' building. And that's where my travels take me next...
...and this place isn't much better! Right next to the A8 with a couple of bird tables for company. All round is the 'Bodycote' building with its nice big windows so that all the folk inside can look out and think 'what's that idiot up to?!' This is a massive monolith, far far bigger than the three around Huly Hill, but if it's an outlier I guess size matters! Its broadest face points approximately E/W, moving my gaze again up to Corstorphine Hill.
I'd driven past this place hundreds of times before I knew it existed.
OK, it's got It's own motorway interchange, airport and MacDonalds for our convenience, but something remains of the original feel of this place, I'm sure.
You can see Arthur's seat and castle rock in the city distance.
I visited this site with a friend in August 1999. This site is on low ground, most of the horizon has been taken and it has the feel of a landscaped park. The remaining stones are still impressive.
I've seen worse examples of disrespect and Hully Hill is still well worth the visit.
And I forgot about that big stone at the other side of the roundabout - it's impossible to figure out the reasons for the siting of this stone by just being there now, but it's good to see this stone surviving.
I regularly drive past this monument, although I haven`t visited it for at least two years. I did see it from the air when I landed at Edinburgh Airport recently. The other gazeteer entries describe its sorry modern context, but within two miles of this site there are carved rocks, standing stones, burial cairns and a recently unearthed Iron Age chariot burial, unique to Scotland. 200 metres east from the circle stands the massive Gogar Stone. Beyond that looms the mass of the Castle Rock. If you look West you can see the hill on which Cairnpapple stands. Ignore the modern rubbish, the city, the noise, and imagine this circle in its rightful place in the landscape, and roll back the years...
Hully Hill - one of the strangest places I've been without a doubt. A spit from the airport, the ring road, motorway, housing estate - you name it, it's near it. The local bored kids seem to have taken to defacing it too, even the sign is bleached white and unreadable. It just doesn't seem real, and to be honest didn't do a lot for me - but I want to go back again and see. Some sites take a few visits to hit you, before you see through their 20th C trappings. Maybe.
I visited Hully Hill monument, with Pip and the Antiquarian, after a day out in Edinburgh, on my 1999 summer hols.
We pulled off the M8 at J2, drove through the petrol station by the A89. In an industrialised area, by a housing estate, by the main road, is a small parkwith a walled mound in the centre - going around it a circular path with 3 standing stones, one at each corner of a triangle,
landscaped into the path by some townplanner. Better than being lost to us, but still bizarre.
By the largest of the 3 stones, a Renault car had been turned over on it's roof and set on fire, presumably at the end of a joyride.
This burnt hulk lay about 5 or 6 feet from the stone.
It was nearing twilight, obviously urban and the most surreal standing stone moment I've had.
It reminded me that generally The Modern Antiquarian takes me to peaceful serene places, full of beauty, like Stanton Drew or Rollright. This wasn't like that, but then many other stones must have been where cities now are.
If Hully Hill hadn't been listed in the Antiquarian, I'd have seen it as a 'piece of '60's public park landscaping. As it was I knew it to be bronze age public park landscaping.
The only megalith/burnt motor combination of my young life.
A singular experience.
In the October 1984 edition of the Scots Magazine, Mary McDonald, a former resident of Langstane cottage, writes of the Huly Hill outlier by Lochend:
"During the 1914-18 War, my family moved from Edinburgh to Lochend. Our new home on the right-hand side of the road at the approach to the rail bridge is still there, notwithstanding the axed railway and the changed road structure. It was named "Langstane" after the Standing Stone in the field opposite".
The article is accompanied by a photo showing the stone standing proudly in a field of grass, surrounded by a wire fence.
I've not visited this site, but a friend of mine has (I'm hoping to pinch some photos from her). According to CANMORE Huly Hill is,
Surrounded by a modern wall, it measures 100' in diameter and 10 1/2' in height, with its summit slightly hollowed. Wilson states that it was opened in 1830, and found to contain a "bronze spearhead, along with animal charcoal and small fragments of bones, but neither cist nor urns".
There are three standing stones in the same field as the barrow which may be the remains of a stone circle or circles. A fourth outlying stone (NT12657262) could be also be associated with the group. None of the stones are marked on the Landranger.