The Lang Stane (long stone) of Aberdeen is situated close to bustling and busy Union Street. Many places in the city are named after this stone, but most people don’t even 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 these first two photos.
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.
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 (see a photo of an uprooted one in this post about the circle on Aikey Brae here). 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 on it, or when, I don’t know. But it was very naughty. There is also a faint six-pointed star just below the text, which is interesting but still desecration.
Visiting the Lang Stane
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.“
FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE
FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the 600 children and young people who were kidnapped from Aberdeen during the 1740s and sold into indentured servitude in the American Colonies. The story follows the adventures of Elizabeth Manteith from the castle and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s proper derring-dos on the high seas… and there’s chocolate!
“Filled with excitement and suspense…” Historical Novel Society Editor’s Pick
See the publisher’s Press Release here
SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD
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 neurodivergent main character and some rather complicated romance…
See the press release here
Read the article New Novel Highlights Roman History in North East from Grampian Online.
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. There’s 6 chapters of medieval Christmas too.
See the press release here
From the Press and Journal: New book by Fraserburgh author highlights horrific extent of witch trials in Scotland
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47 Replies to “The Ancient and Strange Lang Stane of Aberdeen”
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….
It is an interesting stone.
Interesting. Scotland is full of such wonderful history.
Yes, it’s everywhere 🙂
Perhaps the stone speaks… when one takes care to listen.
You never know!
Glad you happened upon this stone. I agree – it looks very much like a standing stone, which means it is millennia-old.
Yes it’s an ancient thing 🙂
Perhaps the stone will inspire you to write a story. Enjoyed your ‘Fireflies and Chocolate’ (great title) and reviewed it on my blog.
Thank you so much for the review Richard!
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.
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! 🙂
It does look rather ‘persony’!
Fascinating! Perhaps the local library may have some information of the stone’s past.
Always so interesting to read these posts.
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.
Yes, it’s good it’s still there.
My Gordon clan seems to have quite feisty!
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.
Interesting historic tale. I missed it when I was there. Also welcome to visit my travel-lifestyle blog.
Thank you 🙂
Old stones bring out the faery in us with no limit in how far back our imaginations can take us.
Exactly the kind of post that makes me like and comment 😉
From a stone circle, perhaps, like the last survivor of a shipwreck ?
I think so.
Very interesting…thank you for sharing.
Fascinating! It must be even better in person.
It is great to visit.
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.
I love that too.
Fascinating! I wonder how many people walk by this stone without stopping to contemplate its mystery?
Many, I should think.
Very interesting. A stone surrounded with so much mystery. Thanks for sharing.
Highly informative, a pity this stone is a bit swallowed up by the city. I picture it in a meadow or in the midst of a forest.
That’s the landscape it would have known once.
The more I learn about Scotland, the more I am convinced Scotlan is the land of mysteries and old magic 🙂
There is certainly some of that about!
So strange to see it tucked into a building. It doesn’t give it the perspective of size that one feels when they are towering above you in the country side. Bernie
It is quite different, almost like it’s been taken from situ and displayed in a museum.
Im here at ur blog after a long time Ailish , and im glad to see wonderful changes
I’m glad you like 🙂