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

Lochmaben Stone

Standing Stone / Menhir


This one has been on my list of must see's ever since I got Burl's paper back guide, about twenty years ago, so it's good, nay, very good to finally get an audience with this contender for most famous standing stone in Scotland if not Britain.
High praise for a random stone most people, including stone-heads haven't heard of.
Let me begin.
Finding it is but a trifle, leave the A75 for Gretna, at the west end of town, turn right onto B721, then immediately left, take next right, at the cross roads go straight across. Pass Old Graitney and drive right down to the Solway Firth. The car park, such as it is, holds half a dozen cars and is just twenty yards from the Solway's mud. Leaving the car follow the often flooded footpath south west, passing two fields look right, see the stone, approach the stone, love the stone.

The Lochmaben Stane doesn't sit alone, there is another, something Burl's book misses out. The smaller of the two is a meter high boulder, still large and straddles two fields, sitting just twenty yards or so from the big one. For this was once a stone circle, like the big Cumbrian ones, but got destroyed for simply being in the wrong place.
The big one is taller, taller than me and fatter than Benny, take my word for it Benny is fat.
Burl states the dimensions as being nine and a half foot long, so he must have written his entry whilst it was lying down after a fall in 1982.
C14 dated wood from the stone hole at upwards of 3200 BC, so it's a really old one, like the Cumbrian ones.
The circle would have stood at the northern end of a Ford place across the muddy Solway Firth.
After The Scots invaded us in 1398 bringing on the battle of Otterburn, commissioners met here at the Lochmaben stane to discuss a truce.
Has any other standing stone been the site of a truce between two countries? I doubt it.
See, famous. Or should be more so.

The stone obviously gets the occasional visitor, because someone had arranged a row of little stones at the megaliths foot.

The one thing I didn't like about it was the walk along the Firth, during moments of flood, the flood dumps all of it's detritus onto the footpath, what could have been a lovely walk in the countryside turned into a difficult hobble through dozens of broken up trees, and oh god! don't mention the plastic.
postman Posted by postman
8th April 2019ce

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