Restoration of the Celebrated "Buckstone" Rock.From the 'Western Mail', December 15th, 1885.
The above wonderful mass of old red sandstone conglomerate, which was celebrated all through Britain as a rocking stone and Druidic altar, it will be remembered, was accidentally thrown from its position on the summit of a high wooded hill, about three miles from Monmouth, on the road to Coleford, on the 10th of June last. Not only were the people of the immediate neighbourhood indignant, but the London daily papers took the matter up very warmly, the Standard especially.
The huge mass is the property of the Crown, and is too well-known far and wide to again need description in these columns. As soon as he heard of the catastrophe, Mr. C. H. Crompton-Roberts, of Drybridge House, Monmouth, offered £100 towards its restoration. The Mayor of Monmouth and others put themselves in communication with the Crown authorities, who ultimately determined to restore the celebrated rock at the entire expense of the Crown.
The undertaking was one of great difficulty, the huge mass having its chief block, about 50 tons weight, turned upside down, and partly buried in the earth. The enormous top slab, or stratum, had slipped off and fallen beyond the chief block, but right side up.
Messrs. Payne and Son, stone contractors, of Lambsquay House, Coleford, were appointed to carry out the work. The contractors erected two enormous cranes and a powerful crab on the hill above the fallen rock. Then large baulks of timber were placed with the ends under the chief block, and iron rails were laid on these baulks. About six tons of chains were attached to the chief block for the purpose of "skidding" it up to a position for turning, which, after a considerable time, was accomplished. The top stratum was then hoisted adjacent to the chief stone, and the large corner was also brought to a convenient position. This was the work of months.
A plateau for the stone to rest on was then made, with an enormous iron bar let into the solid rock beneath, a bed of cement made of the best material, mixed with similar stone to the Buckstone ground up, having been prepared. The top slab was then raised into its position, being cemented and cramped on, and the corner was afterwards affixed by the same means.
The result is that the work is now completed in a most satisfactory and highly creditable manner. The rock, when the cranes, &c. are removed, will, as it now stands, scarcely, if at all, appear to have sustained any alteration, especially from the road below. Mr K. Tudor Williams, photographer, of Monmouth, has shown us some photographs of the Buckstone both before and after the overthrow and in the course of being lifted. We understand that the rock will be railed round, to prevent future mishap, and that an opening will be cut between the rock and the road, so as to afford a good view of the Buckstone to those who pass by.
Posted by Rhiannon
16th May 2016ce