The road descending from Churchill to Morningside Station was probably old long before the Romans used it to come down to the Forth. Edward I in 1298 marched up here and then turned west toward Falkirk. It was therefore fitting, if not entirely historically accurate, that the side of the road should be the home to one of Morningside’s best loved memorials.
The Bore stane or stone, you pick, sits high on a plinth built into the wall of the old Morningside Parish Church on the junction of Morningside Road and Newbattle Terrace commemorates a muster that is said took place on the burgh muir where James IV set up his battle standard before the all marched down the road to Flodden five hundred years ago.
To commemorate and remind us about this frankly unprepossessing stone a bronze tablet was placed on the plinth.
The Incription Reads:
‘In which the Royal Standard was last pitched for the muster of the Scottish army on the Borough Muir before the Battle of Flodden,1513.
It long lay in the adjoining field, was then built into the wall near this spot and finally placed here by Sir John Stuart Forbes of Pitsligo, 1852.
Highest and midmost was desiret,
The Royal Banner floating wide,
The staff a pine tree strong and straight,
Pitch’d deeply in a massive stone,
Which still in memory is shown,
Yet bent beneath the Standards weight
But to my horror I saw today that the plaque has gone. Nothing is left but holes. Where has the memorial gone? Has it been taken away for re-gilding and restoration suitable for its part in the remembrance of Flodden 500? Has it been spirited away to feed the dark metal fires of China? Was it stolen as a historical artefact to be held ransom until the City gives up on the Trams project?
The complete stone and memorial.
We should be told! That, and when they will finally get round to opening the library again!
Copyright David Macadam