Standing stones can range from slabs a foot or so high to objects as tall as the passer-by. While there are places in the Borders where such stones are grouped together – perhaps to mark a place of social, religious or astronomical significance – only one of these, the Five Stanes near Dere Street, is on a Border Road; most other instances are just solitary stones.
Where these stones are prehistoric, their purpose is usually unknown; they may have marked a burial or a boundary or were indeed part of a larger structure that has now disappeared. However, some more modern stones have a clear purpose to mark the boundary between estates or parishes. On occasions there are inscribed letters on opposing faces identifying the landowners, the farms or the parishes on either side.