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

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038 Boundary Stone, Witch Craig, Torphichen.

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This stone comprises a dressed block with a rounded top and a "cross" carved on one side. Although marked as a boundary stone on the OS map it is sign-posted locally as the Refuge Stone. The stone had been toppled from its place in a dry stone wall at time of visit but has since been re-erected.

Watch Craig is a mile to the North of Cairnpapple Hill, Bathgate. A footpath leads to the stone.

There is a road side lay-by and parking area.

This stone was one of the 'refuge stones' that formed a circle at a distance of a mile around Torphichen Preceptory. All of the space within the circle formed by these stones was as much a legal sanctuary as the church itself and offered protection against the law to every criminal or debtor who entered and remained within its precincts.

I did not know what to expect when I first visited this location and was most dismayed to see the stone had been toppled from it's (precarious) perch on top of the dry stone wall. See gallery. However, on my second visit the stone had been re-erected and the Maltese cross was plainly visible.

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Quick Info
Type: Boundary Stone
Nearest Town: Bathgate
Landranger Sheet 65
O.S. Explorer Sheet 349
Grid Reference: NS 9908 7273
GPS Reference: WITCH2

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Other Sites Nearby
041 Standing Stone, Gormyre, Torphichen.

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