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'The Nine Stones'

Stone Circle (Prehistoric)

Site Name 'The Nine Stones'

Classification Stone Circle (Prehistoric)

Alternative Name(s) Johnscleuch, Nine Stone Rig, Crow Stones,

Canmore ID 57484

Site Number NT66NW 14

NGR NT 62540 65491

NGR Description Centre

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2022.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council East Lothian
  • Parish Whittingehame
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District East Lothian
  • Former County East Lothian

Archaeology Notes

NT66NW 14 6254 6549.

(NT 6254 6550) Nine Stones (NR)

OS 6" map (1957)

'The Nine Stones': A circle of nine stones. It is believed that some treasure is hidden beneath these stones and various attempts, all unsuccessful, have been made to find it.

Name Book 1853

'The Nine Stones': Stone Circle. This stone circle, just above 1000 ft OD, is on a SE-facing slope above Kingside Burn.

Only eight stones remain, three on the NW arc being still upright and five protrate. Six stones enclose a three-quarter circle approximately 22ft in diameter, and the S arc being open. One stone, almost buried, lies outside the NE arc, and another, the most southerly, lies several feet outside this line. The largest erect stone, on the NW, is 5 ft long, 2ft wide and 3ft above ground level, while the five that are overthrown vary from 2 to 7ft in length. There is a slight excavation at the centre and another to the S that may have been occupied by an outlying stone nearby.

RCAHMS 1924, visited 1913

NT 6254 6549. 'The Nine Stones': name verified. There are in fact nine stones comprising the remains of this probable stone circle. It appears that stone 'A' on plan, which is a loose, rounded 0.5m high boulder, is a recent placement in the southernmost hollow shown on the RCAHMS plan. Although generally as described, it is difficult to estimate the original form and dimensions of the circle as it is possible that only stone 'C', a squarish block 0.7m high, is in its erected position.

Stone 'B' is rounded and loose, and D, E, F and H are large tapered slabs up to 2.0m long and 1.0m wide that are now earthfast. They have no symmetry in their present positions. Stone 'J', a square block 0.5m high, would appear an outlier in any configuration.

The ragged central depression is of doubtful significance and could be a late feature.

Surveyed at 1:10,000.

Visited by OS (JRL) 25 April 1979

These stones once stood on the perimeter of a ring about 6.4m in diameter. At the S of the circumference is a hollow where stone 'J' noted by OS (JRL) may have stood. The uneven interior suggests digging has taken place here (see Name Book 1853).

A Thom, A S Thom and A Burl 1980


Field Visit (19 May 1913)

239. Stone Circle "The Nine Stones," Nine Stone Rig, Johnscleugh.

On the south-eastern slope of a heather covered muir running down to the Kingside Burn, some 400 yards distant from it and almost due west of the highest point of Spartleton Hill 1 ¾ miles away, slightly above the 1000 feet contour line is a stone circle called "The Nine Stones" (fig. 181), of which only eight remain, three on the north-western arc being still upright and five prostrate. Six of these stones at present enclose three quarters of a circle of an approximate diameter of about 22 feet, the southern arc being open. One stone more than 5 feet in length lies outside the north-eastern arc almost buried under peat, only one corner of the pillar protruding above the ground. The most southerly stone, which is split, lies several feet beyond the line of the circle. The largest erect stone, towards the north-west, is triangular inshape and measures 5 feet in length, 2 feet in breadth and 3 feet above ground, while its two neighbours to the east and west rise 2 feet in height. The other five stones, which are overthrown, vary from 2 to 7 feet in length. There is evidence of slight excavation at the centre, and about the most southerly point in the circle is a hollow that may have been occupied by the outlying stone to the south, which if replaced would make this segment of the circle fairly complete.

RCAHMS 1924, visited 19 May 1913.

OS Map Ref.: xvi. S.E.

Archaeological Evaluation (4 July 2012 - 5 July 2012)

A programme of archaeological works was required on the Scheduled

Monument (SM) of Nine Stone Rig (Scheduled 1987, Index No.4423),

south of Garvald, East Lothian which had recently been accidentally

disturbed during the course of groundworks. This disturbance included

the displacement of a stone. This programme of archaeological works

was requested by Historic Scotland to restore the SM to its original

condition prior to the recent disturbance and to assess the extent and

significance of the damage caused to the monument by the

unauthorised groundworks.

The archaeological works focussed on a single evaluation trench, over

the area of disturbance, through the central area of the monument. The

trench measured 2.8 m by 2.5 m in plan, and was up to 0.25 m in depth.

The trench was excavated through 0.25 m of redeposited material

comprising peat and turf.

The evaluation revealed that the monument was built into natural

gravel. The trench found the central area of the stone circle to be sterile

of any features. Nearby the probable socket of the displaced stone was

located and the stone re-placed.

Neither previously unknown features nor artefacts were identified.

Information from Oasis (aocarcha1-130226) 25 February 2013

Note (6 January 2020)

The location, classification and period of this site have been reviewed.


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