Carlowrie, Kirkliston, Midlothian

Cup-and-Ring Stone (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – NT 138 746

Archaeology & History

Lost carving of Carlowrie

Two-thirds of a mile west of the Cat Stane, on land immediately north of the River Almond by Edinburgh Airport in an area that was reported in 1780 to be “filled with the skeletons of human bodies,” this old petroglyph could once be found.  The Scottish Royal Commission (1929) described it as being a covering stone for a short prehistoric tomb near the OS-grid reference cited here, “but when discovered it was much broken by the plough that it does not appear to have been preserved.”  They refer instead to the last report of the site in the Scottish Society of Antiquaries journal, where we were informed that the cover stone was,

“marked with three series at least of concentric circles… The widest diameters of the sets of rings cut on the inside of the lid is about five inches, and each set is composed of five concentric circles.”

All trace of this carving appears to have been lost.  Other carvings reported nearby in the 19th century also appear to have been lost or destroyed.


  1. Morris, Ronald W.B., The Prehistoric Rock Art of Southern Scotland, BAR 86: Oxford 1981.
  2. Royal Commission on Ancient & Historical Monuments, Scotland, Midlothian and Westlothian, HMSO: Edinburgh 1929.
  3. Simpson, J.Y., The Cat-Stane, Edinburghshire, Neill & Co: Edinburgh 1862.
  4. Simpson, J.Y., “On Ancient Sculpturings of Cups and Concentric Rings,” in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, Scotland, volume 6, 1864-66.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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