Stob Stanes, Stob Rig, Kirk Yetholm.
The Stob Stones or Stob Stanes are situated about 200m west of
the Scottish - English Border, not far from where the Pennine
Way long distance footpath crosses the Border. The larger of the
two stones still stands erect and measures 1.35m wide at base
and reaching 1.65m high. There is also evidence of stone-packing
around the base. The second stone now lies recumbent across it's
original base, some 5.40m to the south and measures 1.50m long x
0.90m wide x 0.60m thick. Both stones are of a local rock known
From Kirk Yetholm follow narrow minor road up steep hill with
passing places. Immediately after road drops down to valley floor,
turn left into large grassed parking area. On foot, follow sign
posted footpath marked Pennine Way, ascending Green Humbleton. Do
not follow the valley floor route. The stones can be seen to the
right nearing the top of the hill.
A large off-road parking area is available but can be busy during
holidays. Take care not top block access from farm vehicles.
The stones are known locally as the "Gypsy
Stobs" and the name relates to the tradition that the
stones mark the spot where the gypsy kings and queens were
crowned. The stones are possibly actually boundary stones,
set up to mark the line of the Scottish - English Border and
although the present Border is some distance to the west,
this point was regarded as fixed as far back as 1222,
pointing to a medieval date.
The larger of the two Stob Stanes is actually quite impressive
when you get up close and you cannot help but wonder just what
it's true purpose was and perhaps, still is. The area is rich in
ancient remains with hill forts, tumuli, cairns and homesteads
all within easy walking distance. However, it's a small stream
with the evocative name of the Witchcleuch Burn, not far to the
south, that gets my imagination running riot. One wonders just
what strange and mysterious rituals the Stob Stanes have born
witness to in the, perhaps not to distant, past. Check our stone
077 while your there, its just across the river at the ford. You
cannot miss it.