Harlaw Stones, Balerno, Midlothian

Standing Stones (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – c. NT 178 655

Archaeology & History

We are uncertain about the nature and form of what was once known to be “a group of five standing stones” near the destroyed giant cairn of Harlaw, west of Balerno (which was probably built near the old trig-point at NT 1783 6594).  This cluster of standing stones may have been the remains of a stone circle or a possible megalithic stone row, and it’s even been postulated as a line of possible boundary stones—but this is most unlikely.

The only known reference of the site comes from the New Statistical Account in 1845 which told:

“About a quarter of a mile to the south of the large cairn were five very tall and large stones set perpendicularly in the Earth.”

They were destroyed around the same time as the cairn in the early 1800s. Until we find further information, its exact status remains unknown. (Kaledon Naddair – are you out there?)


  1. Baldwin, John & Drummond, Peter, Pentland Place-Names, FotP: Edinburgh 2011.
  2. Dixon, Norman, The Place-Names of Midlothian, University of Edinburgh 1947.
  3. Harris, Stuart, The Place-Names of Edinburgh: Their Origins and History, Gordon Wright: Edinburgh 1996.
  4. McLean, Adam, The Standing Stones of the Lothians, Megalithic Research Publications: Edinburgh no date (c.1978).

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

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