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


Galachlaw Cairn


<b>Galachlaw Cairn</b>Posted by MartinImage © Martin
Nearest Town:Bonnyrigg (7km ESE)
OS Ref (GB):   NT253683 / Sheet: 66
Latitude:55° 54' 6.89" N
Longitude:   3° 11' 41.49" W

Added by Martin

Show map   (inline Google Map)

Images (click to view fullsize)

Add an image Add an image
<b>Galachlaw Cairn</b>Posted by Martin


Add fieldnotes Add fieldnotes
Galachlaw Cairn
At the end of Galachlawside a small indistinct path leads off into the bushes and trees (and also a fence which I had to climb through). I had the GPS on and almost immediately where this small path joins the main path – lo and behold! I was on top of the cairn! Much overgrown with bracken, brambles and trees with a path going right over the top of it. At the NNE side of the path just over the top is a large hole about 1m deep by about 2.5m wide where it looks as if the cairn has been robbed. There was note of both an upright stone on the top in 1953 and an OS triangulation point in 1975, both of which have now disappeared. Although- about 11m ENE from the top of the cairn (which itself is approx 13m in diameter by just over 1. m high) is a large, partly earthfast, and moss covered stone. This stone is approx 1m long by about 0.5m wide by about 0.4m thick- could this be the original stone from the top of the cairn that has been chucked down the cairn?
Posted by Martin
17th July 2002ce


Add folklore Add folklore
Directly west of Mortonhall, and overtopping the house and plantations, is Galach-law. From thence is a very extensive prospect, and for this reason affords a most noble situation for a Belvidere. Here, as the name imports, were held, of-old, Courts of Justice. In 1650 before the battle of Dunbar, Galach-law became famous for the encampment of Oliver Cromwell's army, which consisted, as Mr Hume relates, of no less than 16,000 men [..]

Galach, in Gaelic, fignifies valour, fortitude. Probably Galach-law had its appellation in the days of the Romans.
The writer also mentions the 'Elf Loch' just to the north:
On the south side of the hills of Braid, which exhibits a most picturesque view, a variety of wild scenery, and many agreeable walks, is a hollow called Elve's or Elf's Kirk, denoting the place where the fairies assembled. The fairies were considered to be the same as the nymphs of the groves and hills, celebrated so much of old by the poets. It was a prevailing opinion among our ancestors, in the days of Paganism, that fairy women, or beautiful girls of a diminutive size clothed in green, with loose dishevelled hair, frequented certain sequestrated places, and at certain times conversed with men.
Yeah in your dreams, you old perv.

From Rev Mr Thomas Whyte's "An Account of the Parish of Liberton in Mid Lothian, or County of Edinburgh." p292-388 in
Archaeologica Scotica: transactions of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
Volume 1 (1792)
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
3rd November 2006ce
Edited 3rd November 2006ce