Ancient Stones
A Guide to Standing Stones & Stone Circles in the South of Scotland.


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Start Finding Your Own Ancient Stones

The first thing you need to do when you decide to become a stone hunter, is to get hold of a good map or preferably a set of maps. In the United Kingdom, the Ordnance Survey produce excellent maps for stone hunting and there are two series that are most suitable, the Landranger 1:50,000 series and the Explorer 1:25,000 series. The Explorer series is recommended as it offers more detail then the Landranger series and more stones will be shown.

The next thing to do is get hold of a soft pencil and spread the map on a flat surface such as a table. Then carefully study each grid square and circle anything that indicates a possible stone or stones. Yes, it is okay to mark the map, they are yours after all and you can always rub the pencil out later. Typical obvious examples are standing stones, stone circles and named stones. There are also other clues to possible stones such as place names with "stone" in the title, holy wells are often marked by stones, geographical features and ancient sites such as hill forts, mounds, ancient trackways, burial chambers and so on may also have stones associated with them.

Next plan a day trip, taking in no more than about 3 or 4 sites. This may not seem a lot but some stones may be very difficult and time consuming to find or may involve a long walk. Food and drink are a must as is suitable clothing for the location and weather conditions. You also want to have time to examine the location, to look for other items of interest that may be associated with the stone or stones.

At your chosen standing stone or stone circle, have a good look at the stones themselves, the general areas and also the surroundings. The whole setting goes towards making up the entire site. Its also worth having a close look for any signs of activity at the site. keep an eye open for anything unusual such as animal remains, candles, marks indicating burning such as soot, quartz pebbles, food offerings and so on. All these are indicators that some form of ritual activity may have taken place recently. Please get in touch if you find anything at any of the sites listed in Ancient Stones.

Finally, when out in the field, there are times when you will be disappointed, perhaps not being able to find a stone or the stone my just be a small and un-interesting rock. Try and stick with it, the next one might just be truly amazing! Also, a word of caution. The thrill and excitement of finding a stone for the first time can be addictive.

019 Stone, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh.

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