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March Stones – Call for Guardians

March Stones – Call for Guardians

Garry Stevens No Comment

Dear Burgesses

As you may be aware it was the 700th anniversary of the Stocket Charter granted by Robert the Bruce to Aberdeen on 10th December 1319. “By our present charter confirmed to our Burgesses and Community of Aberdeen” Many visitors to Aberdeen are familiar with the statue of Robert the Bruce outside Marischal College holding aloft said Charter. The Forest of the Stocket, together with certain additional areas, comprises what is known as “The Freedom Lands”.

The observance of boundaries or marches and the preservation of landmarks are of remote origin and go back to the time when man took one of his early steps along the path of civilization. At first, no doubt, the landmarks were natural objects, such as hills, trees and streams, and the rough tracks or highways of the time, but as early society grew in complexity, the necessity for marks of artificial construction arose, and with these came the collateral necessity of guarding against their removal. A riding of the Marches at frequent intervals was undertaken for the purpose of ensuring that the landmarks were not moved, or if moved, that they were restored to their original position.

There is a total of 66 March Stones marking the boundary of the Freedom Lands. The Burgesses have responsibility for ensuring that each of the stones has an allocated Guardian(s). The role of a Guardian is not onerous, apart from ensuring they remain in place, the main role is to ensure they are kept in reasonable order, free from being overgrown with grass, and weeds, and kept in as clean a condition as possible.

We currently have a number of stones which do not have an allocated Guardian, and these are listed below. If you would like to undertake the role, please  contact Clerk Garry Stevens at clerk@aberdeenburgesses.com indicating which stone is your preference.

We are hoping to have events throughout this year to celebrate the 700th anniversary which will involve the Guardians in some shape or form, further information will be posted to the website once finalised.

Stones without a Guardian:

3,4,5,23.28,29,33,37,41,42,43,44.45,50.53,55,56,57,58,59,60, Omega,

The attached March Stones leaflet, which will be updated this year gives locations on all of the stones

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