Scotland's housing scheme with a monument older than the pyramids

Ravenswood Avenue Stone
The Ravenswood Avenue Stone is quite the peculiar attraction -Credit:Photo by Anne Burgess (cc-by-sa/2.0)

If you had to think of where a monument older than the pyramids would be, chances are your first guess wouldn't be an Edinburgh housing estate.

Scotland is a treasure trove of historic sites, from castle ruins nestled in the hills to spectacular chapels shrouded in mystery. Nowhere is this more true than in its capital city, with Edinburgh being a haven for history fanatics.

While its secret gardens and subterranean visitor attractions are well known amongst residents, the Ravenswood Avenue Stone is one historic artefact that even most locals are unaware of. This is a strange standing stone, akin to those found on the islands of Harris or Orkney.

As reported by the Scottish Daily Express, the Ravenswood Avenue Stone stands at 1.85 metres tall and is thought to be more than 4,000 years old. This would mean that it predates the legendary Egyptian pyramids.

Originally situated in a field around 100 metres away, the stone was moved to its current location when the estate was erected in the 1970s. Surrounded by metal railings, it is now a scheduled monument.

Ravenswood Avenue Stone
The true origins and purpose of the Ravenswood Avenue Stone remain a mystery -Credit:Google Maps / Scottish Daily Express

Sometimes surrounded by wheelie bins, the Ravenswood Avenue Stone has become an unexpected tourist attraction amongst those who keen to uncover its mysteries. The stone's origins have sparked various theories, with some believing it marked an ancient battle site while others think it was even used in rituals.

The monument is no longer believed to hold archaeological potential, however Historic Environment Scotland has recognised its cultural significance. This is why the Ravenswood Avenue Stone today stands as a scheduled monument.

Thanks to its peculiar location, the stone has prompted more than a few tongue-in-cheek reviews on Google.

One visitor quipped: "Plan ur visit in advance, get full-tour tickets so that u don't miss out anything. Keep urself hydrated, sight of the stone really worths the tedious journey, getting to it. Only grudge I hold now is against the iron grill it has been surrounded with. Come on, it won't go anywhere."

Another commented: "Greyfriars Bobby? Edinburgh Castle? Scots monument? Naw.

"The Ravenswood Avenue Standing Stone is THE best experience the city has to offer. 9/10 would visit again."

If you are keen to check out the monument yourself, it is quite easy to find. It is situated in the Inch area of Edinburgh, around just 15 minutes from the city centre by car.

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