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Mutiny Stones

Long Cairn (Neolithic)

Site Name Mutiny Stones

Classification Long Cairn (Neolithic)

Canmore ID 60309

Site Number NT65NW 1

NGR NT 62257 59025

NGR Description Centre

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Longformacus
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Berwickshire
  • Former County Berwickshire

Archaeology Notes

NT65NW 1 62250 59024.

(NT 6225 5902) Mutiny Stones (NAT) Long Cairn (NR)

OS 6" map, (1957).

The 'Mutiny Stones', a long cairn, is siutated in moorland at 1250ft OD. It measures about 270ft ENE-WSW by about 90ft at the E end and 32ft at the W end. The cairn material is irregular bare stones, and where the centre of the cairn is exposed by robbing, many large stones can be seen. The E end of the cairn is almost straight on plan, with small protruberances from what appears to be the true edge of the cairn, at both corners. The N and E edges of the cairn are little disturbed; parts of the S side have been robbed to provide enclosures for sheep. The maximum height of the cairn is 8ft; previously it was given as 18ft.

In 1871, a trench was cut by Lady John Scott across the centre of the cairn, and another was carried from the N side as far as the middle line, at the highest point, i.e. about 40ft from the E end. Nothing was found.

In 1924, a trench, 12ft wide, was excavated by Craw (J H Craw 1925) along the axis of the cairn from the E end. He found a wall face, 22ft from the E end, running for a length of 14ft parallel to the end of the cairn. The only other features noted were six small unconnected upright stones set in the ground, 1 1/2ft high, three on each side of the wall face.

A S Henshall 1972, visited 1963; RCAHMS 1915.

When seen in 1954, this cairn was generally as described by Miss Henshall.

Visited by OS(JFC) 17 December 1954.

Mutiny Stones (name verified), (Information from Mr Veitch, Gamekeeper, Roxburgh Estates), a mutilated long cairn as described.

Surveyed at 1/10,000.

Visited by OS(MJF) 30 April 1979.

Listed. No additional information.

RCAHMS 1980, visited August 1979.


Field Visit (8 October 1908)

249. ‘Mutiny Stones’, ‘Mittenful of Stones’, ‘Meeting Stones’.

Situated on the Byrecleugh ridge, a heathery moor about ¾ north of Byrecleugh shooting-lodge and 4 ½ miles west of Longformacus, 1250 feet above sea level, is a long cairn formed of the angular stones of the district. Lying with its long axis east and west, it measures 278 feet in extreme length, 26 feet in at the west end, suddenly expanding at 278 feet eastward and showing a frontage of 76 feet at its eastern extremity. It is only 3 foot high at the west end, but gradually rises till, at the centre of the east end, it has an elevation of 11 ½ feet. A large sheep-fold has been built out of it along the south side, and otherwise it has suffered much from dilapidation. At a distance of 98 feet from its west end a passage has been cut through it. Between the years 1866 and 1877 a trench was dug across, near the centre, by Lady John Scott and Lord Rosehill, but nothing was found. *

In a map preserved at Byrecleugh, prepared by Mathew Stobie for the Duke of Roxburghe in 1794, the cairn is called the ‘Mitten-full of stones’; later it was corrupted to ‘Meeting Stones’, and probably by a clerical error to ‘Mutiny Stones’.

See Lauder and Lauderdale (Thompson), p. 14; Glimpses into the Past in Lammermuir (Browne), p. 76; New Stat. Acct. (Ber.), p. 94; Ber. Nat. Club, 1869-72, p. 11.

RCAHMS 1915, visited 8th October 1908.

OS Map: Ber., viii. SE.

* Information supplied by Mr J. Edington, land steward, Spottiswoode, who assisted.

Publication Account (1985)

''The Mittenfull of Stones" in 1794, subsequently ''The Meeting Stones", currently ''The Mutiny Stones", the cairn is aligned north-east/south-west on Byrecleugh Ridge, overlooking the Dye Water. Reached after a good, bracing walk, it is a striking example of a rare long cairn, over 85m long and between 7.6m and nearly 23m wide. Even though considerably robbed to provide stone for nearby sheep-stells, it stills rises to 2.5m at its eastern, wider end.

Information from 'Exploring Scotland's Heritage: Lothian and Borders', (1985).

Sbc Note (15 April 2016)

Visibility: Standing structure or monument.

Information from Scottish Borders Council

Note (31 January 2020)

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


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