Wednesday, April 17, 2024

It's all about stones

This is not really interesting to most blog readers, but Jennie asked a question and I started pondering;) 

Taken from the following site

The Oxenham Arms Standing Stone

The other day I came across on a website a large standing stone within the building of a pub on Dartmoor.  So intrigued I went looking, not much information on it, I think because archaeologically it is impossible to gain any insight into it.  It had obviously been there when the house was built and embraced in a wall rather than take it out.  It is a large stone and there is, written down, talk of it going 26 feet deep.  The Rudston Monolith situated in Yorkshire had similar depth I believe.

Rudstone Monolith

The story goes that there was a religious site on it and in the early 14th century the land was taken over by the Burgoyne family and it became a manor house.  Turning now into a very fine pub.  Though I looked for archaelogical stuff on it, there was hardly anything, frazzled by Pastscape and when did British Online History devolve to encompass everything I did not need to know? 

The stone stands there mysteriously in the wall, enormous for this end of England which is Dartmoor but surprisingly near to other prehistoric bits and pieces, which includes a stone circle and a ceremonial path way of stones.

All intriguing of course, did some religious person centuries ago come on this great pagan stone and decided to Christianise it, and slowly it became a focus to build round it.  Just like the Rudston Monolith of course, posed so near to the church.

There are always a lot of questions to be asked and answered in the prehistoric world, Tom provided one the other day when he said how did they manage to balance a heavy capstone on two support stones on the Carreg Coetan Arthur cromlech.  I expect it  was slippage of the other two stones, and the weight bearing of the capstone just settling down over the centuries.  In fact the stones went down another metre into the earth, or probably to be more accurate it was accumulation of soil on top through time.  What we see today is not the 'actuality' of 5000 years ago. 

Someone's impression on it on The Modern Antiquarian site

The Pointed Stone in the Icy Corner


  1. That is interesting to me! Many prehistoric stones were incorporated into walls. There are lots at the road to Freshford near here, and also at a medieval wall on the edge of Kingsdown golf club near my workshop - not as big as these though.

  2. Have you ever heard of the 'Pointed Stone in the Icy Corner' It is in a church in Wales, I will put the link up top. The Welsh are more romantic in their naming.

  3. Au contraire. It is quite interesting, and very phallic. Could it be about fertility?

  4. Yes it is probably a phallic symbol Andrew, though the Rudston Monolith is definitely more defined. There is plenty of evidence for fertility. Some stones look as if they represent female and male stones.

  5. I am quite intrigued by this stone and its relevance to the rest of the important archaeology on Dartmoor. I need to blow the dust off my Dartmoor archaeology books and try and see if I can make sense of its positioning. One of the Carnac stones is gigantic isn't it, and still venerated as a phallic object up until quite recent times?

    I hadn't heard of the Pointed Stone in the Icy Corner either. Damn, it's in Denbighshire, so not exactly on my doorstep . . .

    1. Apparently Cosdon Hill which is very near has the three stone rows. The rows lead to a cairn and there is a small stone circle, so obviously a site where people settled Jennie.

  6. And as ever, I am agog with the antiquity of so many of your artifacts.

    1. I am sure there must be plenty in America Joanne. Prehistory is that time before the written word but it is still writ into the landscape.


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