Monday, 19 December 2016

Neolithic treasure in a Scot's pine wood!

Today was a day for a treasure hunt in a small wood on top of a tiny hill overlooking the Forth and Fife beyond! For many moons I have treasured a scrap of paper on which are some details about some ancient cup and ring marks incised onto slabs of stone somewhere in the Ratho area. Assuming it was far off and hard to find I hadn't really paid much attention, until today that is. Rereading the route showed it to lie very close to Ratho village indeed. In fact it turns out that I have driven past it many times.

Tormain Hill is the place and it has amazing views to the Pentlands, the Ochils and the Forth bridges. In a cluster on the hilltop on natural rocky outcrops are 'a rich collection of man-made markings...[and]...vary from a single large cup on one rock to a set of circles, concentric rings and grooves." There is one stone with a really funky pattern of concentric arcs and cups and it looked a bit magical in the late afternoon sun. We are talking 2nd millenium BC and no-one really knows what or why or who, but there in the Scot's pine wood, bathed in red-gold light from a setting sun, it is easy to dream up images.