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

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037 Standing Stone, Black Knowe, Hownam.

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This single standing stone sits beside the well-known Roman road of Dere Street and may be associated with the ancient burial cairn on Black Knowe, just a few metres to the west. The stone is five sided and measuring 0.76m high and has a girth of 2.50m. A few stone fragments can be seen around the base. It has been suggested that this is not a standing stone but a natural erratic boulder. However, it is similar to the boulders associated with the cairn on Black Knowe in size, shape and material and may have an association with the cairn.

This site is best reached by following Dere Street, the Roman Road. Take the minor road running south from Hownam then head right for Oxnam. Dere Street is crossed at Pennymuir Forest, at the junction leading to Towford Outdoor Centre. On foot or by mountain bike, follow Dere Street north until Black Knowe is reached. The standing stone can be seen just to the right of the route. Note that parts of the route are very wet and boggy and sturdy footwear is recommended.

On verge beside Pennymuir Forest.

Of all the stones and sites I've visited for this web site, and we are talking about almost 100 now, I still get a shiver down my spine when I think about my trip along Dere Street last November. Even looking at the picture brings back those eerie feelings of being watched! The stone itself is very dark in colour and is probably part of the cairn seen just over the dry stone dyke. It might just be my imagination but there was a feeling of a distinct presence at the site, as if my every move was been watched and scrutinised. Even when I was heading away from the stone, I felt that should I close my eyes for too long, the landscape would have changed when I opened them again. The farmhouses would be gone and I would be back in ancient times. It all seems far fetched, I know, but I wonder if the "black" in the site's name, Black Knowe, has been given to reflect the dark atmosphere of the place?

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Quick Info
Type: Standing Stone
Nearest Town: Jedburgh
Nearest Village: Hownam
Landranger Sheet 80
O.S. Outdoor Leisure 16
Grid Reference: NT 7513 1554
GPS Reference: SSBLKN

Symbols Key | Stone Types

Other Sites Nearby
044 Trestle Cairn, Dere Street, Hownam.
045 Black Knowe Cairn, Dere Street, Hownam.

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