The History of Leith

March 31, 2013

Relics of the unwritten ages

Other relics of the unwritten ages exist near
Edinburgh in the shape of battle-stones ; but many
have been removed. In the immediate neighbourhood
of the city, close to the huge monolith
named the Camus Stone, were two very large
conical cairns, named Cat (or Cath) Stones, until
demolished by irreverent utilitarians, who had
found covetable materials in the rude memorial
stones.
Underneath these cairns were cists containing
human skeletons and various weapons of bronze
and iron. Two of the latter material, spear-heads,
are still preserved at Morton Hall. Within the
grounds of that mansion, about half a mile distant
from where the cairns stood, there still stands an
ancient monolith, and two larger masses that are in
its vicinity are not improbably the relics of a ruined
cromlech. ” Here, perchance, has been the battleground
of ancient chiefs, contending, it may be,
with some fierce invader, whose intruded arts
startle us with evidences of an antiquity which
seems primeval. The locality is peculiarly suited
for the purpose. It is within a few miles of the
sea, and enclosed in an amphitheatre of hills ; it is
the highest ground in the immediate neighbourhood,
and the very spot on which the warriors of
a retreating host might be expected to make a
stand ere they finally betook themselves to the
adjacent fastnesses of the Pentland Hills.”

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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