What are the 7stanes?
The 7stanes are seven mountain biking centres spanning the south of Scotland, from the heart of the Scottish Borders to Dumfries and Galloway. 'Stane' is the Scots word for stone, and at each of the 7stanes locations, you'll find a stone sculpture reflecting a local myth or legend.
The stanes are found out on the trails in the forests, in prominent locations near cycling and walking paths. They’re accessible on foot or by horse as well as by bike, and range in size from one to three metres high and from two to six tons in weight.
What are the sculptures?
Glentrool: The Giant Axe Head
The Glentrool area of Scotland is known for its stone age past and legends of Scottish and Irish giants throwing objects at each other. The Giant Axe Head - a 1.5 ton sculpture which overlooks Loch Dee - closely resembles actual neolithic stone axes and has runic text inscribed onto its top surface.
Kirroughtree: The Gem Stane
Kirroughtree's trails are known as the 7stanes' hidden gem, and the sculpture here takes its inspiration from the trails' reputation and their close proximity to the Creetown Gem Rock Museum. This 1.75 ton stone is made from Scottish pink quartz.
Dalbeattie: The Heart Cleft Stane
A mammoth piece of Dalbeattie granite has been donated by Tarmac Limited from their local quarry to make the Dalbeattie stane.
It symbolises the fact that the Kirkcudbrightshire town was once the heart of the granite industry in the south of Scotland and exported stone all over the world. The inscription on the giant heart gives an indication of where the granite has been exported to over the years.
Mabie: The Ghost Stane
Situated in the 'misty glade' - a beech wooded area with a small stream - this stane is made from white marble. The 2.25 ton sculpture appears to be standing by itself. Its surface is engraved with a local lace pattern.
Ae: The Talking Head Stane
The head stane is made from a glacial granite boulder. It's 1.5 tons and looks south towards Ae village and the Solway. The stane has a carved mouth, ears and eyes and is inscribed with the translation of a Norwegian poem.
Glentress: The Meteorite
This six ton Ledmore marble stane contains text carved in Klingon, with the obvious implication it may not be of this world.
Newcastleton: The Border Stane
The sculpture resembles the tail fin of an aircraft and faces north - south. On the north side, representing Scotland, Auld Lang Syne is inscribed and on the south side, representing England, the words of Jerusalem.
The highlight of the stane is that it stands right on the border between Scotland and England. The hole in the middle allows people stand on either side of the border and shake hands through the stane.
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