High up on a hill, overlooking the River Forth with views of the Wallace Monument and surrounding vistas, stands a chunk of stone with a dark past. According to local legend, the stone was used for beheadings in the 15th century.
The stone stands atop a place in Stirling, Scotland, that’s also called “Mote Hill” or “The Heading Hill,” a spot where an ancient Pictish Fort once stood. Over time, this area became the place where King James I would have his enemies dispatched. Most notably was that of Murdoch, Duke of Albany in 1425, the grandson of King Robert II, founder of the Stewart Dynasty.
Today, the stone no longer serves as a chopping block. It’s covered by a metal cage and rests on a large, white, circular pillar with a metal plaque reading; “Beheading Stone, Protected by the Public at the Insistence of the Stirling National History & Archaeological Society 1887.” There is an information placard nearby, as well as a couple of cannons. Some say the marks on the stone are those from the executioner’s ax. Retributive justice was eventually moved to Mercat Cross and the Tolbooth, Broad Street.