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014 Maiden Stone, Traprain Law, East Linton.

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The Maiden Stone is simply a large slab of rock that has split away from the adjacent outcrop to form a narrow, vertical gap and is situated within the remains of a substantial Iron Age hill fort and settlement on Traprain Law at a height of 221m.

Traprain Law is sign posted from the A1(T) at East Linton. The hill is difficult to miss. Starting from the parking area on the north side of Traprain law, cross the style to the west and follow the winding footpath up the hillside. The Maiden Stone can be found to the east end of the south face.

There are parking areas by the road side and along the verge to north side of the hill.

The story goes that if a women (or man!) should walk, or rather squeeze, through the gap between the Maiden Stone and the Mother Rock, they will improve their fertility and also bring good fortune. An additional point came to light after an encounter with a local in Haddington, who claimed that you must also be "skyclad" i.e. naked at the time. You need to be careful though, as stones with such traditions are also known to be frequented by mischievous fairies and you may find that your clothing mysteriously vanishes!

An email from a female resident of Aberlady, who wishes to remain anonymous, added an additional item of information on the tradition. She pointed out that if you are aware of the tradition (see above) and you choose to ignore that tradition while visiting the Maiden Stone or Traprain Law itself, you will bring bad luck upon yourself.

Although I have been unable to find any documented evidence of folklore associated with the Maiden Stone, its very name does indeed hint at the possibility of ancient rituals and possibly fertility rites. This was later reinforced by a discussion with a local in Haddington when taking photographs of the Custom Stone. He suggested to me, all be it with a wry smile, that you must be naked when you pass through the gap between the Maiden Stone and the natural "Mother" rock. This might not be that fanciful as there are a number of stones dotted across the British Isles that are associated with similar rituals.

Recent years have seen Traprain Law attract attention from a slightly more unusual field, that of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO�s). Various sightings of strange lights and unusual objects seen in the sky in and around Traprain Law have appeared in the local press and it has also been suggested that Traprain Law (and also North Berwick Law to the east) are "hot spots" for UFO activity. As well as reported sighting of UFO�s from Traprain Law, there have also been reports of a strange metallic object falling from the sky. The National Museum of Scotland concluded it was of "no known metal" and had been "milled by machinery". A fragment of strange material was also found on the hill by an American lawyer who witnesses unusual lights over the hill, something which has excited UFO researches around the world. However, tests have shown it likely to be the remains of window cleaner's chamois leather.

Unidentified Flying Objects are not the only strange occurrence in the area. There have also been a number of sightings relating to large beasts roaming the streets of Haddington and the surrounding countryside. These creatures are often referred to as "alien big cats" are believed to be puma's or other large cats.

The stone is fairly easy to find and the scenery is breathtaking in fair weather with fantastic views to Fife in the north, the Pentland Hills to the west, North Berwick Law to the east and the Lammermuir Hills to the south. Add to that an Iron Age hill fort and the remains of a burial cairn and you have a site well worth a visit, even if you are not into ancient stones. And finally, to answer the question you are no doubt asking yourself. Did he or didn't he? Well, if I say that the gap is narrow and the stone cold, you can then make up your own mind!

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Please be aware that naked people may be encountered at this location.

Quick Info
Type: Named Stone
Nearest Town: Haddington
Landranger Sheet 67
O.S. Explorer Sheet 351
Grid Reference: NT 5830 7473
GPS Reference: MAIDEN

Symbols Key | Stone Types

Other Sites Nearby
003 Standing Stone, Pencraig Brae, East Linton.
004 Standing Stone, Standingstone, East Linton.

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