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


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034 Gowk Stone, Auchencorth, Penicuik.

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Description
The Gowk Stone, also known as the Auchencorth Stone, is a large sandstone monolith, standing just under 1km east of Auchencorth farm steading, on the highest point of a small ridge. The stone stands over 2.00m high and has distinct vertical fluting due to weathering. Some fragmentary lettering is visible.

Directions
Take the A701 south from Penicuik and veer right on a minor road at Ravensneuk Farm. Park at the fenced enclosure marking a gas governor station. Walk west along the road until the line of pylons. Follow the pylons north-west across the open moorland/field. The stone can be seen to the right.

Parking
By roadside.

Folklore
On an earlier visit to this site, a few years ago, I found a small bundle had been placed on top of the stone. It contained a hazel twig, a black crows feather, some white sheep's wool and a small stone. Witchcraft or some other pagan ritual? Out of interest, the Cuckoo is sometimes referred to as the Gowk.

Fieldnotes
The Gowk Stone occupies a commanding position above the River North Esk and a look at the place names in the local area hint that the stone has a few secrets to tell. The stone is also referred to as the Auchencorth Stone, meaning place of the fold or stone circle. Auchencorth Moss can also be seen to the south. Perhaps the Gowk Stone is the sole survivor of a larger complex at this location. Across the North Esk stands the remains of Brunstane castle, the name given to mean stone at the burn. Walstone may also take its name from the stone. With so many local places taking name from the stone, surely there is much more to the Gowk Stone than at first appears.

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Quick Info
Type: Standing Stone
Nearest Town: Penicuik
O.S.
Landranger Sheet 66
O.S. Explorer Sheet 345
Grid Reference: NT 2042 5764
GPS Reference: GOWKST

Symbols Key | Stone Types

Other Sites Nearby
033 Stone, Yorkston, Gorebridge.

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