Leaston House, Humbie, East Lothian

Cup-and-Ring Stone (lost):  OS Grid Reference – NT 483 634

Also Known as:

  1. Canmore ID 54771

Archaeology & History

The lost Leaston carving
The lost Leaston carving

The concentric ring carving shown here was found on the north side of the large gardens at Leaston House early in the 20th century.  It was first reported by the Royal Commission (1924) boys, who told us that the small free standing stone measured 2½ feet long and was 1¾ feet wide, consisting of 5 concentric rings about 15 inches across.  No central cup-marking existed in the middle of this carving — like the Grey Stone at Harewood and a small number of other multiple-ringed petroglyphs. No other notes were made about any other associated monuments.  The carving was included in Ron Morris’ (1981) survey, with no real additional material.   Although the Canmore report told that the carving could be found “in a rockery bordering the lawn north of Leaston House,” its present whereabouts remains a mystery.

Only known photo of the stone
Only known photo of the stone

This is one of a number of cup-and-ring stones that have been ‘lost’, either through destruction or through some dood simply taking it for their own private collection (a practice even the modern rock art student, Paul Brown, has openly admitted in one of his books).  Not good.  This lost Leaston Hall carving was probably “acquired” by some local and probably rests either in their garden or hall somewhere.  If anyone knows where it hides, please tell us — as this is an important carving.

References:

  1. Morris, Ronald W.B., “The cup-and-ring marks and similar sculptures of Scotland: a survey of the southern Counties – part 2,” in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, Scotland, volume 100, 1969.
  2. Morris, Ronald W.B., “The Cup-and-Ring and Similar Early Sculptures of Scotland; Part 2 – The Rest of Scotland except Kintyre,” in Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society, volume 16, 1969.
  3. Morris, Ronald W.B., The Prehistoric Rock Art of Southern Scotland, BAR: Oxford 1981.
  4. Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland, Inventory of Monuments and Constructions in East Lothian, HMSO: Edinburgh 1924.

Acknowledgements:

With thanks to Janet Donaldson-Elder for the place-name correction!

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  55.861471, -2.826814 Leaston House