Standing Stone (destroyed): OS Grid Reference – NT 074 698
Archaeology & History
A few hundred yards west of the commemorative Wallace Stone monolith could once be seen a standing stone of considerable size. It was described by James Primrose in his description of the standing stones of the Strathbrock region; but even in his day, remains of it were fragmentary. He wrote:
“On Drumshoreland Moor, within the grounds of Pumpherston Oil Company, there is a stone, popularly styled Bucksides — its correct designation being Backsides — from its position at the backside of Pumpherston. This stone, a huge whinstone boulder about 12 feet long and 8 feet broad, was blasted in 1888, to make room for the site of a bench of retorts; a few fragments of the stone, however, yet remain by the roadside. The ancient name of this stone was Ballengeich — apparently the Gaelic for “the township towards the wind”, — as if a croft once stood here, near Pumpherston Mains, in an exposed and windy situation.”
A visit to the local history department of the local library might prove fruitful in giving us more information about this place—that’s assuming the filthy tory central government’s theft of taxpayer’s money doesn’t close it! (does that sound a bit harsh? 😁 )
The same historian told of a “tradition…that round this stone in days gone by the Broxburn folks, along with their neighbours, used to assemble at Fair time, in the month of August, in order to witness their favourite sport of horse-racing; but whether there was any more ancient custom associated with it, we have never learned.”
- Primrose, James, Strathbrock; or, the History and Antiquities of the Parish of Uphall, Andrew Elliot: Edinburgh 1898.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian