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The Buckstone

Rocking Stone


We have, with much regret, to record the destruction of the famous and well-known object called "The Buckstone," [...] it formed a prominent object on the top of a hill 891 feet above the level of the sea, and was one of the attractions to visitors to the Forest of Dean and the beautiful Wye Valley district. This unfortunate event occured on the 10th June, 1885, on the occasion of a visit of some half-a-dozen strolling acrobats possessed of more energy than sense.

[...] According to an account given by Mr. W. H. Greene, of Chepstow, who carefully inspected the remains a few days after the overthrow, it appears that the massive block was pushed off its base and has fallen a few yards below on the declivity of the hill, broken into many fragments, the largest of which lie upside down. The block, however, appears not to have been thrown off en mass, for the lowest portion of it still remains in situ. It would seem that there was a fissure in the stratification, probably beetween the sand-stone and conglomerate, extending half-way across, as shewn by the discolouration of the stone so far, but the remainder is red and fresh.

Hence he says, "these enterprising strollers actually broke the stone off its pedestal! There can be no mistake about it. They must have exerted a force of no common nature." There is however, great difference of opinion upon the subject. Sir James Campbell, crown surveyor of the Forest of Dean, takes a more favourable view of the circumstances. He says, "it would seem to have been more the result of foolish reckless romping than of intentional mischief."

It is not unlikely that the sandstone stratum of the block had, in process of time, become disintegrated from atmospheric causes, and that a slight disturbance precipitated the calamity which, from natural causes, would in no long time have occurred.

[...] In some of the newspapers it is stated to have been undoubtedly a Druidical altar, and some supposed accessories to such altars are particularly described. There is, however, no ground for such an opinion. It possessed rather a geological than antiquarian interest.
From Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, volume 10 (1884-5).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
27th August 2013ce
Edited 27th August 2013ce

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