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Mountain Bike Trails

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.

Who sculpted the stanes?

The lead artist on the Seven Stanes Arts Project was Gordon Young. Born in Carlisle, Gordon attended the local college before going on to Coventry Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art in London.

He previously worked at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Welsh Sculpture Trust before becoming a full time artist in 1984 and has many awards to his name, the most recent including the Blackpool Civic Trust Award in 2007 and Royal Society for Arts, Art for Architectural Award in 2001.

Gordon was supported in the current project by Russell Coleman, Ronnie Heeps and Mark Powers. The huge eye-catching works of art took six months to create at the premises of Galloway Granite at Sorbie, with which Gordon has had a close association for over 20 years. The stone for the sculptures comes from a variety of locations across the UK.

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.

Go to the Glentrool pages.

Glentrool Stane

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.

Go to the Kirroughtree pages.

Kirroughtree Stane

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.

Go to the Dalbeattie pages.

Dalbeattie Stane

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.

Go to the Mabie pages.

Mabie Stane

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.

Go to the Ae pages.

Ae Stane

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.

Go to the Glentress & Innerleithen pages.

Glentress Stane

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 stane stands close to the Scottish - English border, which runs along the nearby Kershope Burn. The hole in the middle of the stane allows people stand on either side of the 'border' and shake hands through the sculpture.

Go to the Newcastleton pages.

Newcastleton Stane

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