The Mysterious Lang Stane of Aberdeen

The Lang Stane, Aberdeen

The Lang Stane (long stone) of Aberdeen is situated close to busy and bustling Union Street. Many places in the city are named after this stone, but most people don’t know that it’s there. It’s hidden away on the corner of Langstane Place and Dee Street. The Music Hall can be seen in the background of the above photo.

The Lang Stane in Langstane Place
From Google Street View

History of the Lang Stane

There’s not a lot of documented history on the stone or how it came to be placed in the wall, though I have heard that this event happened in the 1960s. It’s shown as a solitary standing stone on a map from 1746, before Langstane Place was built.

The Lang Stane in its alcove

Battles and Boundaries

The Lang Stane may have originally been part of a stone circle. The carved base is consistent with this idea, that anchor shape being common in the stones of Aberdeenshire recumbent circles. It is also thought to have been used as a boundary marker along with another old and mysterious stone, the Crabstane. Both stones may have borne stony witness to the 1571 Battle of Craibstone between Clans Forbes and Gordon.

Who carved the words onto it, or when, I don’t know. There is also a faint six pointed star just below the text.

Visiting the Stone

I like to pay the stone a wee visit when I’m in the vicinity, all tucked away and squished into its alcove as it is. There’s no scenic rolling hillsides or lush forests for the Lang Stane as enjoyed by its contemporaries!

The opening scene of FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE takes place in a stone circle, the story then travelling the old cobbled streets of Aberdeen before leaving Scotland’s shores.

There’s a lovely new review of the book up on Pink Quill Books here: “This is a love story that transcends colour, race, and class, as Elizabeth grows from being a spoilt lady of the castle to a young woman who fiercely defends her closest friends.

All My Books

Sisters at the Edge of the World cover

Set in 1st century Scotland, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD includes the battle of Mons Graupius between the Romans and the Caledonian tribes. The book features a neurodiverse main character and some rather complicated romance!

See the press release here

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Read the article Roman Aberdeenshire features in author’s new book from Grampian Online.

Cover of Ailish Sinclair's 'The Mermaid and the Bear'

Taking place mainly in a fictional castle, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story.

See the press release here

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From the Press and Journal: New book by Fraserburgh author highlights horrific extent of witch trials in Scotland 

Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair, out 2021

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the kidnapped children and young people of Aberdeen. The story follows the adventures of Elizabeth Manteith from the castle and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s derring-dos on the high seas… And there’s chocolate!

See the publisher’s Press Release here

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“Filled with excitement and suspense…” Historical Novel Society

ballet feet of Ailish Sinclair

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42 Replies to “The Mysterious Lang Stane of Aberdeen”

  1. Nice…Stone with Secret… fantasy works at full speed…great picture…Ailish, thanks for posting ! I like this litlle piece of hidden history before our eyes….

    1. You’re very welcome – my wife, now reading ‘Fireflies and Chocolate’, can’t resist the Scottish connection as her grandfather was an organist in Peebles in the early 1900’s.

  2. The stone seems to resemble the human form somehow. Like there may be a person hidden away in its rocky interior. So mysterious and interesting. Tucked away in a corner, a quiet part of the hustle and bustle.
    Great sharing! 🙂

  3. How interesting! I’ve been to Aberdeen but didn’t see the Lang Stane. It makes me a little sad that sometime it was yanked up from its ancient home in the soil to be put on display. Better to be displayed behind glass than to have been crushed, though. In that respect, I’m glad it’s been preserved.

  4. Terry Wooten, a poet, has a stone circle on Torch Lake in Michigan. He sometimes has a poetry night where people can come in the evening, sit around a fire and take turns reciting poetry by memory. It was fun. Of course, that was a long time ago, I’m assuming he still does it.

  5. I love the sense of not quite knowing the full history of such magical things as standing stone. The Stone itself has a magical quality too, knowing it has been around for thousands of years and will outlast us all.

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