The Lang Stane of Aberdeen

The Lang Stane, Aberdeen

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.

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 (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 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 by Ailish Sinclair

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!

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

“Filled with excitement and suspense…” Historical Novel Society Editor’s Pick

See the publisher’s Press Release here

A Dancer’s Journey – a contemporary series

A Dancer's Journey, a 3 book series by Ailish Sinclair. Dark and romantic books.

These books are so naughty that I’m a little worried nobody will be able to look me in the face again after reading them. But not that worried. They’re out in the world anyway.

When dance student Amalphia Treadwell embarks on a secret relationship with her charismatic new teacher, she has no idea of the danger that lurks in his school in Scotland…

See the series page here on the site for full blurbs and quotes

Series on Amazon UK

Series on Amazon worldwide

Series on Goodreads

A Dancer's Journey Series by Ailish Sinclair - dark and romantic books

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48 Replies to “The 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.

  6. 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

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