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


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050 Standing Stone, Dabshead Hill, Lauder.

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Description
The standing stone on the summit of Dabshead Hill, which is also within the perimeter of a hill fort, stands 3.50m high, 1.00m wide and 0.40m thick. It is now leaning at a very severe angle and is only prevented from collapse by the large modern stone cairn and iron bindings around the base. There are five large cup marks on the stone and several other depressions near the top of its south-west side. The origin and date of these marks cannot be ascertained although they may have already been present prior to the erection of the stone. It has been suggested that the stone was originally located north of the circle on Borrowston Rig and may have formed part of the rituals associated with the area. Whether it was lying prone on the ground or erect as a standing stone is not known, although the latter seems most likely.

Directions
From Lauder, follow the A697 for Duns. Turn left at High Cross then right at Newbigging Walls. Follow the road to Barncastle Farm. Walk down the track to the valley floor then follow the track right along, round and up Dabshead Hill.

Parking
By roadside at Barncastle Farm or alternatively, request permission to park in the farm yard.

Folklore
The stone was probably erected in its current location as a monument in the 19th century, on the marriage of the Countess of Meath. Another reference, original unknown, mentions the Baron's Stone, sepulchre of a great Chief who died on the battle field. It has been suggested that the stone was originally located north of the circle on Borrowston Rig and may have formed part of the rituals associated with the area. Whether it was lying prone on the ground or erect as a standing stone is not known, although the latter seems most likely.

Fieldnotes
Several references seen to point out that this stone was erected only recently, some time in the 19th Century. However, another reference in an old book, the title of which I've lost, refers to the "Lang Stane" on Dabshead Hill ("lang" means long in Lowland Scots). There is also a note that the stone originated from Dye Water, about 10 miles to the west, as the crow flies. I suppose this is entirely possible, as the stone could easily have been moved on a strong cart with a good team of heavy horses. Ordnance Survey Explorer 345 reveals a number of interesting place names. Lylestone Hill, Lylestane farm, Lylestane Burn and Lylestane Plantation hint at other earlier associations with the stone. The two names, "Lyle" and "lang" also seem to close to be mere coincidence.

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Quick Info
Type: Standing Stone
Nearest Town: Lauder
O.S.
Landranger Sheet 66
O.S. Explorer Sheet 345
Grid Reference: NT 5471 5124
GPS Reference: DABSHD

Symbols Key | Stone Types

Other Sites Nearby
048 Stone Circle, Borrowstone Rig, Lauder.
049 Cairn, Borrowstone Rig, Lauder.

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