Muschats’s Cairn: a stack of stones that honors a murdered 18th-century woman.

For the major part of tourists, this monument looks like a random pile of rocks. And, in a way, that is indeed what it is. It’s a cairn, basically a landmark constructed with irregular stones, and here there is no signage or posting to provide historical context. Instead, one has to dig deeper to realize these stones are the marker of a macabre and unscrupulous story. It was 17 October 1720 when a surgeon named Nichol Muschat lured his wife Ailie into Holyrood Park and killed her. His previous attempts…

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The Hartest Stone

If stones could talk – what stories could they tell? Hartest is a small village south of Bury, Suffolk, England, located in a deep dale. At its North end lies its silent stone sentry, a limestone boulder with an interesting past. And, of course, there are different versions of its story. Just as the Treaty of Utrecht brought Britain the Rock of Gibraltar, it is also said, in at least one story, to have brought it this more humble roughly one metre cube rock, dragged to its present spot in…

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Nine Ladies stone circle and their King Stone

This bronze age stone circle is situated in a woodland clearing high on Stanton Moor, Derbyshire England. The curious arrangement consists of nine upright stones purposefully set in an about 9-meters diameter circle and an additional lone stone sits about 30 meters away. As with most stone circles, nobody really knows why it was built and, of course, generations of fertile imaginations have come up with their own mythological explanations. According to a popular local legend, nine young maidens danced at the Sabbath to the tunes played by a lone…

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