Standing Stone, Black Knowe, Hownam.
This single standing stone sits beside the well-known Roman road
of Dere Street and may be associated with the ancient burial
cairn on Black Knowe, just a few metres to the west. The stone
is five sided and measuring 0.76m high and has a girth of 2.50m.
A few stone fragments can be seen around the base. It has been
suggested that this is not a standing stone but a natural
erratic boulder. However, it is similar to the boulders
associated with the cairn on Black Knowe in size, shape and
material and may have an association with the cairn.
This site is best reached by following Dere Street, the Roman
Road. Take the minor road running south from Hownam then head
right for Oxnam. Dere Street is crossed at Pennymuir Forest, at
the junction leading to Towford Outdoor Centre. On foot or by
mountain bike, follow Dere Street north until Black Knowe is
reached. The standing stone can be seen just to the right of the
route. Note that parts of the route are very wet and boggy and
sturdy footwear is recommended.
On verge beside Pennymuir Forest.
Of all the stones and sites I've visited for this web site, and
we are talking about almost 100 now, I still get a shiver down
my spine when I think about my trip along Dere Street last
November. Even looking at the picture brings back those eerie
feelings of being watched! The stone itself is very dark in
colour and is probably part of the cairn seen just over the dry
stone dyke. It might just be my imagination but there was a
feeling of a distinct presence at the site, as if my every move
was been watched and scrutinised. Even when I was heading away
from the stone, I felt that should I close my eyes for too long,
the landscape would have changed when I opened them again. The
farmhouses would be gone and I would be back in ancient times.
It all seems far fetched, I know, but I wonder if the
"black" in the site's name, Black Knowe, has been
given to reflect the dark atmosphere of the place?