The 7stanes (Scots for stone) are seven mountain biking centres developed by the Forestry Commission spanning the south of Scotland, from the Scottish Borders to Dumfries and Galloway. As the bike tracks were developed, the appearance of 7 mysterious stanes was discovered. Each of the stanes have inscribed symbols, the mystery once deciphered reveals a well-known saying.
In collaboration with:
Carving with Russell Coleman and Mark Powers.
A publication by Ronnie Heeps revealing the background to the sculptures is available.
Photos provided courtesy of Forestry Commission Scotland.
Glentrool: The Giant Axe Head
The Glentrool area is known for its stone age past and legends of stone throwing giants in Scotland and Ireland. The Giant Axe Head - a 1.5 ton sculpture which overlooks Loch Dee - closely resembles actual neolithic stone axes and has runic text, thought to be the oldest poem in Ireland, inscribed onto its surface.
Kirroughtree: The Gem Stane
Kirroughtree's trails are known as the 7stanes' hidden gem, and the trails are also close to the Creetown Gem Rock Museum. This 1.75 ton stone is made from Scottish pink quartz.
Dalbeattie: The Heart Cleft Stane
It pays homage to the town’s reputation as being the heart of the granite industry in the south of Scotland. The inscription on the giant heart reveals where the granite has been exported to all over the world.
Mabie: The Ghost Stane
Situated in a 'misty glade' this stane is made from white marble. The 2.25 ton sculpture of a dress appears to be standing by itself within the wood. Its surface is engraved with a lace pattern and makes reference both to the nearby National Museum of Costume and also the white monks of local Sweetheart Abbey.
Ae: The Talking Head Stane
Made from a glacial granite boulder the 1.5 ton sculpture is inscribed with the translation of a Norwegian poem about spruce trees entitled Deep in the Forest by Hans Borli.
Glentress: The Meteorite
This 6 ton Scottish marble stane contains text carved in Klingon, with the obvious implication it may not be of this world.
Newcastleton: The Border Stane
This stane stands near to the border between Scotland and England. On the north side, representing Scotland, Auld Lang Syne is inscribed and on the south side, representing England, the words of Jerusalem. The hole in the middle allows people to stand on either side of the border and shake hands or throats through the stane.
Copyright © Gordon Young 2009