Nine Stones Rig, East Lothian

Nine Stones Rig stone circle in East Lothian, Scotland.(Image: Urban Ghosts. Nine Stones Rig stone circle in East Lothian)

Perched high on the barren moorland of the Southern Uplands, in East Lothian, Scotland, is a small circle of irregular standing stones known locally as Nine Stones Rig. This enigmatic stone circle above Whiteadder Reservoir, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding hillsides, is thought to be of Bronze Age origin and appears to have been tampered with as the decades have slowly passed.

Unlike ancient Britain’s larger stone monuments – from Avebury and Stonehenge in the south to the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness in the north – the mysterious Nine Stones Rig, along with a network of other small circles including Penshiel Hill, Mayshiel, the Crow Stones and nearby Kingside Hill, are little visited, and less well known as a result.

Kingside Hill stone circle in the Southern Uplands.(Image: Urban Ghosts. Ring of tiny stones on Kingside Hill)

But these ancient stone monuments are equally compelling in their own right, lonely echoes of the farming folk who inhabited these wild uplands thousands of years ago. And as with many esoteric sites whose origins remains shrouded in mystery, folklore has moved in to fill the gaps in the millennia-old history of Nine Stones Rig (sometimes referred to as Nine Stanes Rig).

Nine Stanes Rig.(Image: Urban Ghosts. Close up of “Nine Stanes Rig”)

The Megalithic Portal quotes an older source on its website, stating:

An intriguing entry taken from a Name Book of 1853 says: “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.”

As we’ve discussed before, the tantalising concept of hidden treasure is popular in folklore, and may refer to the notion of lost or secret knowledge, rather than physical riches. Clearly that hasn’t stopped people digging, however.

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