Frequently Asked Questions
following frequently asked questions will hopefully answer
many of your most commonly questions asked.
did you decide to start Ancient Stones?
I decided to start Ancient Stones, originally called Border
Stones, after finding that there
was very little information about the standing stones and
stones circles in my local
area either on the Internet or in printed form. There were
plenty of web sites and books about the more popular stone
circles of the British Isles but next to nothing about the
smaller, less obvious local sites of the Scottish Borders
and surrounding regions. So, I decided to start my own web
site and record all the stones circles, standing stones,
etc, in and around my own patch of the South of Scotland.
long have you been "collecting" ancient stones?
The first stone I visited for this project was The
Altarstone, back in June 2001. However, Iíve been
photographing stones for many years and Iíve also been
interested in "ancient stones" since my teenage
years when my parents took me to see the stone circle at Callanish in the Outer
Hebrides while on a family holiday.
you have a favourite stone or location?
It would be difficult to say which of the many sites I've
visited is my favourite. Mind you, I would say that the Maiden
Stone on Traprain Law is the most exciting, particularly
when you follow the ritual associated with the stone!
the point of creating a database of ancient stones?
In the first instance I wanted a long term project to keep
me occupied that would combine my interests in standing stones
and the like, involve outdoor activity, creating and
managing a web site, using maps and GPS and also allow me to
indulge in digital photography. The Ancient Stones project
was ideal for this purpose as it combines all these
do I find Ancient Stones in my own area?
First you need to get hold of a decent map of your local
area such as an Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 Landranger Series
or better still a few of the OS 1:25,000 Explorer Series
which offer much better detail and more importantly also
show more stones. Then, itís just a case of studying the
map, noting where the stones are located and going to see
them. Check out the Articles section for further advice.
equipment do I need to find Ancient Stones?
Essential items are a map, compass and the ability to use it
along with some means of transport be it a car or bicycle. Other items such as GPS
receiver and digital camera are useful to have but are
about trespassing on private land?
Here in Scotland
to private land is rarely a problem and most landowners will
be happy for you to walk on their land if you are sensible
and respect their property. If you are uncertain about any
site, just ask for permission, it will rarely be refused.
Landowners will often be as interested in the stones on
their land as you are and may have some local knowledge on
types of stones are you interested in?
I started looking at stones that were "officially"
prehistoric such as standing stones and stone circles, those
show in italics on Ordnance Survey maps, but I soon found
other stones that were also of interest and although they
were not recorded are "officially" prehistoric,
because they were unusual, out-of-place or interesting, I
started to record them as well. I firmly believe that just
because the ďauthoritiesĒ do not regard any stone or
site as prehistoric does not mean that it did not have some
important ritual or other meaning in the past.
of your conclusions are a bit eccentric. Why is this?
One of the joys of not being academically controlled is that
you can use your imagination to look and see what might have
been. For many years I've been interested in all manner of
earth mysteries such as ley lines, unidentified flying
objects, dowsing, earth lights, and alien big cats and tend
to look at any ancient site with these subjects in mind. The
interesting thing is that we just do not know for sure why
standing stones, stone circles or other sacred stones were
erected. Who is to say that one theory is better than
you accept photographs of the stones listed on your site?
Sorry but I do not accept images from third parties as I
wish the entire site, including text and articles, to be all
my own personal work. I also want to keep editorial control
over the quality and style of photographs shown.
you plan to publish an "Ancient Stones" book?
Yes, I do have plans to publish a book, or rather a series
of A5 booklets on the sites featured here on Ancient Stones.
The first will be The Ancient Stones of The Lothians, which
is currently being written. See The
Booklets for further information.
information resources do you use?
I start off with Ordnance Survey maps, using both Landranger
and Explorer series to initially locate the sites. I then
use the online CANMORE database at the Royal Commission on
the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) to
see what information has been recorded for the site. This
also brings other stones to light that are not marked on the
maps. The Internet is also used and I have a small
collection of books and booklets, although these are quite
limited in their scope and value. Other than that, most of
the information you see is obtained personally during field
found a site not listed in Ancient Stones. Interested?
Of course, please send me any
information you have on the site and if itís within the
area Iím covering, Iíll add it to the To Do List for a
future visit and possible inclusion as an entry in the
database. Please include as much information as you can.
However, I have a list of many hundreds of sites to visit
and it might be some time before your suggestion appears
I use some of your photographs please?
would be happy for my photographs to be used but would ask
you to contact me first and also adhere to the following
There must be a credit to ďAncient StonesĒ alongside each
A link to http://www.ancient-stones.co.uk
should be included with each image.
You should not link to any of my images but should install
the image or images on your own server. I can supply high
resolution images for you to edit as required.