What would you like to do for our anniversary? I asked the ever patient Karen.
‘Let’s go to Monmouth for the day’ she replied. So that is what we did.
Monmouth is a very nice town and well worth a visit - it has the only surviving medieval fortified bridge in Britain (built 1270) -you can also feed the ducks from the bridge!
So after a couple of hours rummaging through the many charity shops they have (Karen likes a bargain) it was time for a bit of ‘old stoning’.
We headed east out of Monmouth along the A4136. Just as you enter the village of Staunton there is a turning on the right with a ‘dead end’ sign. Turn here and there is room to park on the side of the road. This is just in front of the driveway to Buckstone Adventure Centre.
From here there is a public footpath sign to the right. All you have to do is follow the ‘path’ up through the woods (pretty walk) for about 10 minutes – keeping the drystone wall to your right. There are many moss covered large boulders you pass along the way. When you get to the top of the hill you will see a covered reservoir on your left and a sign for the Buckstone on your right. Through the wooden gate and you are there.
Apparently until 1775 it was thought that the Buckstone could be rocked.
‘The stone attracted many attempts to topple it until the feat was achieved in 1885 by a party of 5 travelling actors and a Monmouth innkeeper. The stone split into several pieces but at the expenses of the Crown (the landowner) it was cemented back together and secured in place with an iron bar.’
The stone itself is very large – approximately 2.5 metres high x 8 metres long. It has superb views down the valley. It reminded me very much of the Devil’s Pulpit stone overlooking Tintern Abbey. The repair made to the stone with cement is clearly visible as is the rusting iron bar sticking out of one end. It is probably fortunate that this is not an easy stone to climb up. I think only those quite agile (not me!) would be able to do so.
There are two Trig points next to the stone.
Under the Buckstone I spotted a Tupperware dish with a stone on top.
I opened the dish and discovered 3 small numbered stones and a piece of paper asking visitors to identify which of the small stones is made of the same material as the Buckstone? I assume this is something to do with the nearby Adventure Centre?
What I also wasn’t expecting to see were the several large boulders near the Buckstone. One of these looked like a basin (natural?) which was full of water. I could well imagine this being used in ancient times for some reason or other.
Before visiting this site I had some trepidation as I thought it may be a difficult one to access / find. I had no reason the worry. It is quite the reverse. On a public footpath and is actually sign posted near the stone with a new-look gate giving access.
The stone is well worth a visit when in the area.
Posted by CARL
7th March 2012ce