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


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019 Stone, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh.

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Description
This massive egg-shaped stone is situated to the west of the Iron Age hill fort on Dunsapie Hill in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh. The stone is not marked on any known Ordnance Survey maps of the area and no other information is available at present. A number of other boulders of the same type can be seen, partly buried in the immediate area and seem to be of local volcanic origin. The stone measures 1.80m high and has a girth of almost 6.00m at mid-height.

Direction
Holyrood Park is located to the west of Edinburgh city centre. A city street plan is recommended for finding this location. Once inside Holyrood Park, follow the road in a clockwise direction for Dunsapie Loch. Park in the small car park and walk round the south side of Dunsapie hill. The stone is quite obvious.

Parking
Numerous car parking areas exist along the access roads within the park.

Folklore
It would appear strange that such a prominent stone in such as famous location with a rich history should not have a few tales or legends associated with it. One rather humorous suggestion from a family member was that the stone might be called The Giant's Testicle. How the giant came to loose it is another matter entirely!

When researching for information of ancient stones I came across a reference on the Internet about a stone known as the Witches Stone, that is believed to have once existed in King’s Park, Edinburgh. Interestingly, the present-day Holyrood Park, while un-officially known as the Queen’s Park was once called the Kings Park. As the story goes, women used to slide down the stone as part of a ritual, in the belief that they would have increased fertility. While there is now way of telling if the stone documented here is the same stone, or that another stone was involved, now destroyed, the possibility does exist never the less.

Fieldnotes
I first saw this massive boulder in a fine art black & white photograph. Wondering where it was, I showed the image to my wife who then vanished upstairs and produced a photograph of me sitting on the same stone some 14 years ago. The same day I first asked her out after returning from a work secondment to Saudi Arabia
! The stone is impressive and sits alone on the side of Dunsapie Hill, to the east side of Holyrood Park, itself ringed by an Iron Age hill fort. The stone is of the same type of lava found elsewhere in the area and probably predates the fort.

Returning to obtain some measurements of the stone, I noticed a gap had been left (recently?) in the stone wall to the east. This brought to mind a similar gap found at Tweedsmuir in the Scottish Borders and there may be some connection with "fairy paths" where superstitious people where loath to block the path of the fairies. See 056 for more information.

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Quick Info
Type: Other Stone
Nearest Town: Edinburgh
O.S.
Landranger Sheet 66
O.S. Explorer Sheet 350
Grid Reference: NT 2826 7313
GPS Reference: HOLYPK

Symbols Key | Stone Types

Other Sites Nearby
045 Stone, St. Anthony's Well, Edinburgh.
058 The Slidey Stane, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh.

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