Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Hanging Stanes,gallows bases,Braid Road

A Scheduled Monument in Morningside, City of Edinburgh

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Latitude: 55.9226 / 55°55'21"N

Longitude: -3.2094 / 3°12'33"W

OS Eastings: 324517

OS Northings: 670612

OS Grid: NT245706

Mapcode National: GBR 8KS.DD

Mapcode Global: WH6SS.NDXG

Entry Name: Hanging Stanes,gallows bases,Braid Road

Scheduled Date: 24 January 1994

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5884

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: gallows, gibbet

Location: Edinburgh

County: City of Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: Morningside

Traditional County: Midlothian


The monument consists of the stone bases into which were set gallows used in 1815 for the last public executions, for highway robbery, in Scotland.

The stone bases, each 1m square, are set beside each other in the N- bound carriageway of Braid Road, outside 66 Braid Road. Until recently, one of the bases was covered by road material. Each base has a central socket, into which the wooden upright of the gallows was set. These sockets are now each filled with two stone paving setts, and each base is surrounded by an ornamental border of a single line of red granite setts.

The distance from the W kerb of the road to the W edge of the stones themselves is 2.85m, and the stones are set 0.6m apart, aligned N-S. These stones supported the gallows erected for the specific purpose of the hanging, on 25 January 1815, of Thomas Kelly and Henry O'Neill, the last persons to be publicly executed in Scotland for highway robbery.

The area to be scheduled consists of a rectangular area 3.3m E-W by 4.9m N-S, to include the bases and their surrounding borders and a small area around them, as shown in red on the accompanying plan. Rights of vehicular passage over the monument are not to be affected by this scheduling.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance for its historical associations and social significance. Although placename evidence for gallows is widespread, surviving elements of actual apparatus, in situ, are rare. This monument is of importance as indicating the perceived value of capital punishment in the early nineteenth century, for the decision to carry out the sentence on the site of the crime indicates a deterrent as much as, or more than, a punitive intention.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland




Smith, C. J. (1979) Historic South Edinburgh, Vol. 2.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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