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


Blackford Hill


<b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by MartinImage © Martin
This site is of disputed antiquity. If you have any information that could help clarify this site's authenticity, please post below or leave a post in the forum.
Rock carving of deer and hunter discovered in 1996. Thought to be early medieval rather than prehistoric
Nearest Town:Edinburgh (4km NNW)
OS Ref (GB):   NT253706 / Sheet: 66
Latitude:55° 55' 21.53" N
Longitude:   3° 11' 43.78" W

Added by Martin

Discussion Topics0 discussions
Start a topic

Show map   (inline Google Map)

Images (click to view fullsize)

Add an image Add an image
Photographs:<b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by thelonious <b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by thelonious <b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by BigSweetie <b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by BigSweetie <b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by BigSweetie <b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by BigSweetie <b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by BigSweetie <b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by forestal <b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by Martin <b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by Martin <b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by Martin <b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by Martin <b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by Martin <b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by Martin <b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by Martin <b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by Martin <b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by Martin <b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by Martin Maps / Plans / Diagrams:<b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by Martin


Add fieldnotes Add fieldnotes
26/01/2019 – Walking a few of the tops in Edinburgh. Blackford Hill was the last of the day so we thought we’d have a go at finding the deer carving. Turned out not too bad to find. Close to the top of the hill, just a short distance from the steps behind a big tree. It’s steep though but nothing too tricky if you take your time.

I was fair chuffed to find it. A nice little adventure away from all the runners and dog walkers on a pretty busy hill. I didn’t know what to make of the carving really. It didn’t seem that old to me but I still really liked it. A proper mystery.

Plenty of nice walks round and over Blackford Hill. Pretty easy going. The top is the site of a fort but not much to see of it. The views are very good of Edinburgh and the surrounding area. This carving was a nice cherry on top of the Blackford Hill cake.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
29th January 2019ce

I was inspired to check this out by Martin's posts, and visitied the carving on 14/01/07. A bit tricky to get to (in a gale), but once there I was rewarded with a seriously smooth little seat in the entrance to the little cave. It must have taken a lot of sitting to get it that smooth - this spot was once used a hell of a lot. The carving is pretty nifty, although I'd say I was more taken by the seat. Posted by forestal
15th January 2007ce

Tuesday 24/8/04
Another steep and tricky cliff face- another site! It's a bit of a scramble up here over slippy grass, scree, through gorse and stinging nettle. I'm back up here with the digi cam to take some decent pics and also some measurements- especially of the 'hunter' figure. The deer was only rediscovered in 1996, but no mention was made of the human figure only 3 cm to the left of it. To be fair- the deer is very prominent compared to the human, but the latter is definitely pecked from the rock using the same technique as the deer. The deer is 145 mm long by 107 mm high. The horns are 47 and 45 mm long. The human 'hunter' figure (which is 21 mm to the left of the nose of the deer) is 17 mm wide by 68 mm high with legs 30 mm long. It appears to be holding a weapon of sorts on its left side- possibly a representation of a bow and arrow, this being 37 mm long.
Just about 1.1 m to the right of the carving there's a crevice in the cliff face and a crack forming a natural chimney- indeed the rocks in the crevice are blackened with carbon and soot. At the base of the rock with the carving is a horizontal slab approximately 80 cm by 1 m to sit perched on the cliff. I guess it's impossible to date such a carving, but this place has a very ancient feel to it- the deer and hunter carving, the fire shelter, the perch high up on a cliff…
Posted by Martin
25th August 2004ce

On an extremely muggy and warm lunchtime I find myself on the stone perch next to the deer having lunch and admiring the fantastic view. I took the path round the base of the hill this time and straight up to here- very tricky as it's mostly slidy scree. Only stopped on my way up here to sample the very good wild raspberries growing all over the place. I was having a re-check of the carving- it's on an almost lozenge shaped rock about 75X32 cm forming part of a small cliff rising to about 2 m by about 1.5 m wide. The deer is pecked from the rock and in recognising this I notice something so obvious that I missed it on my last visit- just to the left there is what appears to be a humanoid figure- bloody hell! It's not as deeply carved as the deer though. I have a good survey of all the rock faces around the cliff- but no more carvings.
Posted by Martin
25th August 2004ce

Not the easiest to find- the GPS was about 6 m off, but I found the tiny creature on a slab of red rock looking SW across the Braid Hills. I was expecting something Pictish, but this looks far, far more primitive. There's lichen growing in the actual carving so it's definitely not recent (not that it looks in any way modern).
Posted by Martin
25th August 2004ce


Add miscellaneous Add miscellaneous
The easiest way to get to this site is by approaching from the south. Take the path with the steps up towards the summit of Blackford Hill, but maybe 30 steps from the top the gorse to your left stops and is replaced with grass on a steep slope. There are a couple of faint tracks visible here. Leave the main path and walk around the edge of the hill towards the prominent tree, where the gorse starts again. Once you reach the tree the hollow in the rock and the carving itself are both clearly visible.

There's quite a lot of scree and it is steep, so appropriate footwear is required!
BigSweetie Posted by BigSweetie
20th January 2008ce