Ballengeich, Uphall, West Lothian

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.”


  1. Primrose, James, Strathbrock; or, the History and Antiquities of the Parish of Uphall, Andrew Elliot: Edinburgh 1898.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

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