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


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053 Brothers' Stones, Brotherstone, St. Boswells.

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Description
The Brothers' Stones are a majestic pair of standing stones on the summit of Brotherstone Hill, at a height of 243m. The stones are 16m apart with the largest stone reaching 2.45m, erected on the south east edge of the small summit plateau. The smaller stone reaches 1.60m in height and is located on the plateau edge to the north west.

Directions
Brotherstone Farm is off the minor road running between Smailholm and Gattonside. Follow the farm track uphill. The stones will be seen to the right, across the fields.

Parking
Parking may be available in the farm yard at Brotherstone Farm but please request permission first.

Folklore
Popular tradition relates the tale of two young brothers from the vicinity who set off for foreign lands to seeks fame and fortune. On their return many years later and after the Reformation, the brothers, each unknowingly to the other, choose to follow different faiths, one Protestant, the other Catholic. A chance meeting between the two, still unaware of their own relationship with each other, resulted in a debate on the theological questions of the time and unable to resolve their difference they duelled and both fell to the sword. On recognising the relationship of the two combatants - so runs the legend - the local people set up these two large monoliths to mark the place where the duellists fell and were buried. The stones also mark the boundary between the old Border counties of Roxburghshire and Berwickshire. (It would be disappointing if they were merely boundary stones!)

Fieldnotes
The Brothers' Stones are one of the best sets of standing stones in the Scottish Borders, and in my humble opinion, the Lothians as well. The view is breathtaking on a fine, clear day and an interesting alignment can be seen from the smaller of the two stones, over the 054 Cow Stone to Harehaugh Crags, in the west. There are also numerous other locations in the surrounding area, such as around Smailholm Tower, which might be worth further investigation. This site seems to have secrets waiting to be revealed.

While there are no records of any standing stones or the like having ever existed at this location, there is a similarly named area to the south of Fala Moor, north off the B6388 between the A7 and A68 south of Edinburgh. Here we see place names similar to those found around the Brother Stones. Brotherstone Hill, Upper Brotherstone, Nether Brotherstone and Brotherstone Wood all exist in this area. One wonders if standing stones may have stood here in the distant past or perhaps the original inhabitants just liked the sound of names.

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Quick Info
Type: Standing Stones
Nearest Town: Kelso
Nearest Village: Smailholm
O.S.
Landranger Sheet 74
O.S. Explorer Sheet 339
Grid Reference: NT 6190 3600
GPS Reference: BROTHR

Symbols Key | Stone Types

Other Sites Nearby
054 Cow Stone, Brotherstone, St. Boswells.

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