The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Three Shire Stones (Reconstruction)

Burial Chamber


I was born in Colerne, the nearest village to the Three Shire Stones, so I know these stones well as a modern monument to mark the point where three shire counties meet - Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, and Somersetshire. Colerne was spelt ‘Cullerne’ in the Doomsday Book, hence the few genuine Colerne survivors pronounce it ‘Cullern’ whereas the Bath-ites pronounce it ‘Col-arne’. Excuse my bitterness but I am annoyed that there is no way I can afford to live in the village where my heritage comes from (‘Bull’ is one of the traditional Colerne names).

Anyway enough of my soapbox, I hadn’t thought much about the Three Shire Stones possibly being based on an ancient monument until I read the ‘History of Colerne’ (no author) which says the stones are recorded as a burial chamber on an OS map of Neolithic Wessex and that a tentative date may be given of 2,000 BC. I have nothing else to back this up but will start looking. It is not included in Dr Glyn Daniel’s book, “The Prehistoric Chambered Tombs of England and Wales". The present stones are certainly modern, apparently erected by public subscription in the Victorian era, and the 'History of Colerne' says it superseded three smaller stones which were allowed to remain undisturbed beneath the central slab.
pure joy Posted by pure joy
12th February 2003ce

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