The Slidey Stane, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh.
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This large wedge-shaped stone measures about 1.00 m x 1.00 m x
about 0.40 m at it's highest end and sits on the western slope
of Leonard's Crag, a prominent ridge in Holyrood park,
Edinburgh. It appears to be a local volcanic origin as there are
several stones of the same composition nearby. The stone sits in
a small hollow on the hillside. The upper surface of the stone
is polished smooth, perhaps from children involved with the
The Slidey Stane is located not far from the park entrance at the
Commonwealth Pool and Holyrood Park Road. Immediately on entering
the park, turn left and follow the path along the boundary wall
until past the trees. The stone is the grassy crag to your right,
about 15 metres up the slope. It may be partially hidden if the
grass is long.
Parking in the streets around this area is generally Residents
Only and even metered parking can be difficult to find. The best
option is to use one of the car parks within Holyrood Park itself
and walk to this location.
There is a local tradition, possibly involving a
"right of passage", whereby children are taken to
the stone by parents or grandparents and then shown to slide
down the stone.
I came across a brief reference to a stone called the
"Witches Stone" that once existed in King's Park,
Edinburgh but had been destroyed. This reference was alongside
another short note about another Witches Stone, this time near
Ratho and known to have been destroyed some time ago. This
latter stone had a tradition associated with it whereby women
would slide down the stone as part of a fertility ritual. After
some research I discovered that Holyrood Park was once known as
King's Park and a quick online search came across a reference to
the Slidey Stane. It does not seem too far fetched that the
Slidey Stane may also be the lost Witches Stone!