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

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025 Dead Wife's Grave, Dawyck, Stobo.

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Although marking on Ordnance Survey maps as "Dead Wife's Grave", no obvious signs of a grave can be seen. However, the south gate pillar bears the inscription, "Dead Wife" and may give name to the location. The only stone in the area lies beside the same pillar. It is partly buried and it is not known to have any association with the location. However, it may be a fallen boundary stone as this location marks the junction of the parishes of Manor, Stobo and Drumelzier. About 250m from this location, on the south side of the Thief's Road and overlooking Manor Water, more than 6 small cists were found which may have some bearing on the name of this site.

From Manor valley to the south-west of Peebles. Enter Hallmanor Forest at Hallmanor and follow the main trail. After a sharp U-bend, turn right up the Old Drove Road. The location is at the top of the hill along the fence line. The track is rough and suitable for a mountain bike.

At entrance to Hallmanor Forest.

Here, according to Armstrong, (M J Armstrong 1775) "it is said, a female Hibernian, sharing the perilous fate of her husband, fell a sacrifice to the forward zeal and inveteracy of the country people". Chambers, (W Chambers 1864) who also records this tradition, suggests with much probability that the victim was a fugitive from the battle of Philiphaugh  in 1645. Montrose's army included a large contingent of Scottish MacDonald's from Antrim, who would naturally have been regarded as Irish and many of these with their female followers were massacred after the battle by country fold, or, as John Buchan considers more likely, by the Covenanting troops.

The Dead Wife's Grave is located where an ancient drove road, The Thief's Road, crosses a parish boundary and would be a likely place for meeting to take place as can be seen in many of the stories relating to the Border Reivers. It would not be inconceivable that traditions or folklore would become associated with such a location.

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Quick Info
Type: Other Stone
Nearest Town: Peebles
Nearest Village: Kirkton Manor
Landranger Sheet 72
O.S. Explorer Sheet 336
Grid Reference: NT 1893 3512
GPS Reference: DEADWG

Symbols Key | Stone Types

Other Sites Nearby
026 Stones, Hallmanor Forest, Manor.
027 Ship Stone, Posso, Manor Valley.

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