Standing Stone, Chatto Craig, Hownam.
This solitary standing stone is located just over 0.5km west of
Dere Street, opposite Trestle Cairn and visible from the Roman
road, stands to 1.50m high and has a girth of 2.15m at base. The
stone stands on the crest of a slight rise and has it's major
axis aligned north - south. The muddy pool that usually
surrounds the stone during the winter months probably results
from cattle using the stone as a rubbing post. The setting
offers outstanding views of the Cheviots to the south. To the
west of the stone, on the summit of the ridge, can be seen a
weathered stone protruding from the turf, measuring 0.60 x
0.40m. This may be the remains of a further standing stone. Some
surface disturbance can be seen on the ground to the NNW.
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 Trestle Cairn is
reached. The standing stone can be seen to the east along the
fence line. Note that parts of the route are very wet and boggy
and sturdy footwear is recommended.
On verge beside Pennymuir Forest.
One splendid standing stone and only a few metres away the stump
of a possible companion stone, certainly gets the imagination
going. What was the purpose of these stones? What rituals took
place here? Perhaps, one day when time travel becomes common
place will we be able to share the secrets that the stones
withhold. This is also one of the sites that has much more to
offer than just a solitary standing stone. At first glance you
only see the stone but a possible second stone offers a
tantalising glimpse of what might have been. With a little
thought, does the inky-deep pool become something other than the
results of the fall of countless cloven hooves? The Trestle
Cairn can be seen to the west, what is the connection? At the
next stone you visit, take off your modern and scientific hat
and let your imagination run free. Look for what might have
been, or what could be still. Look for the secrets that the
stone has been waiting to tell.