The local area has, for an urban setting, a surprising number of historical stones such as the enormous Caiy Stane at Fairmilehead (reputed to be over 3,000 years old). This stone has fared better than the Camus Stone which sat closeby but sadly was broken up and used for road material in the nineteenth century.
Thankfully the Buckstane still stands above ground in Braid Road (near where the Buckhounds were unleashed when the King went hunting on the Boroughmuir) and a little further north the Bore Stone (reputed to be where the Standard was raised to muster the army which was to fall at Flodden Field) perches on its pedestal above Morningside Road. No more than one hundred meters from the Bore Stone sit a much more modern addition – the Church Hill Milestones – which also capture a flavour of the history of the area. The Milestones are a pair of attractive pink and black granite pillars standing guard outside the Church Hill Theatre. Each pink City – Greenhill, Merchiston, Boroughmuir, Church Hill, Morningside, Tipperlin.
Interesting pictorials represent memories of local people such as John Napier – a doo (dove) representing a famous occasion when Napier prevented neighbours pigeons from stealing his corn by getting them drunk. The industry of locals is shown by a weavers shuttle for the linen spinners of Tipperlinn and a busy bee for Napier University and
the Internet. The old parody of Morningside life is interpreted by a piano in the parlour and a kipper in the kitchen. An Egyptian cat depicts the use of exotic names in local streets (Egypt Mews?). A burning bush stands for the churches at Holy Corner. Miss Prism’s handbag from the “Importance of Being Earnest” by Noel Coward commemorates the first performance held in the Church Hill Theatre. On close inspection the Bore Stone itself is in evidence!
So what is the story behind the erection of the modern stones? The Church Hill Theatre forecourt was upgraded in 1994 and a sum of money was set aside to commission a work of art in accordance with the then Edinburgh District Council’s policy a the time. Kenny Munro an Ormiston based sculptor, artist and educator was commissioned to carry out the work. The unveiling ceremony took place in August 1995. Thankfully there is little chance of these stones being broken up to fix potholes in Morningside Road! The work is well worth a visit the next time you are passing.