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

The Agglestone

Natural Rock Feature


Moist semi-oxygenated particles of iron, it is well known, have an agglutinating power; - the AGGLESTONE, therefore, which is composed of ferrugineous sand-stone, appears to me to have been formed on the spot, and there can be no necessity for supposing that the Druids (if it be true that it is a Druidical monument) would bring so enormous a mass from a distance. --

This extraordinary insulated rock, is situated on the heath, not far from Studland, and is about eighty feet in circumference, at a medium, the height being about twenty. It is somewhat in the shape of an inverted cone. The spot whereon it stands is raised like a barrow. This circumstance occasioned the conjecture that it was erected as a monument to some British chief, interred below. Whether it was intended for a sepulchral memorial, or whether the heap of earth was thrown up only to render the top of the rock accessible, the name Agglestone (from the Saxon halig-stand, i.e. holy stone) certainly seems to shew that it was erected for some superstitious purpose.

The country people call it the Devil's night-cap, and there is a tradition that his Satanic Majesty threw it from the Isle of Wight, with an intent to demolish Corfe Castle, but that it dropped short here!
From volume 1 of "Observations relative chiefly to the natural history, picturesque scenery, and antiquities of the western counties of England, made in the years 1794 and 1796" by William Maton.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
9th August 2013ce
Edited 9th August 2013ce

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