The Caiy Stane – Edinburgh, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

The Caiy Stane

An ancient stone with mysterious origins stands in a residential neighborhood. 


Situated amid the suburban homes of the Oxgangs neighborhood, a 20-minute drive from the city center, stands an imposing boulder of red sandstone measuring over 9 feet (2.75 meters) high, 5 feet (1.55 meters) wide, and 1 foot (0.48 meters) thick.

It’s believed the stone has stood in this spot for at least 5,000 years and has witnessed the ever-expanding populace of the nation’s capital. In fact, it’s easily missed by the naked eye, as the stone is engulfed by the neighboring domestic surroundings. 

The Caiy Stane goes by several names: Cetstane, Cat Stane, The Kel Stone, Camus Stone, and General Kay’s Monument. It has been suggested that the stone’s location may have been used to mark a battle between the Romans and the Picts. There is also some speculation that it may have been erected as a burial marker sometime around 3,000 BC. There are a series of six strange cup-shaped markings on the backside of the stone that are similar to those found on monuments from the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age.

Also on the backside of the stone, one can clearly make out the name “J. Forrest.” This has been attributed to a vandal, who in the early part of the 1800s, used a hammer and chisel to deface the rock.

Know Before You Go

The stone is visible and accessible 24/7. It's situated in a small recess on the east side of Caiystane View, near the junction with Oxgangs Road. Serviced by Lothian Buses No. 4 & Airlink 400, stop Caiystane View.

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September 1, 2020

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