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

Druid Stoke

Burial Chamber


When 'discovered' in 1811 by the Rev. John Skinner, the site lay in a field. By 1880 it had been incorporated into the grounds of Druid Stoke House, and around this time was apparently used as a place of annual assembly by a sect of Druids. In 1904 the grounds were divided up and sold, and the present house was built in 1907. The (by then unfashionable?) druidic connection was incorporated into the houses and streets that were built: the Druid Stoke suburb grew in the 1930s with Druid Road, Druid Stoke Avenue, and Druid Hill.

The stones were probably part of a longbarrow with a false front entrance, and chambers along the sides. As they are 'dolomitic conglomerate' it's thought they may have come from Henbury or Kingsweston Hill. Although it's difficult to imagine now, the barrow is on a western spur of Durdham Down, and overlooked a stream. This origin fits nicely with the folklore Skinner collected from a local farmer. He was told that two giants had fought - one being at the Rock at Henbury, the other at St Vincent Rocks, Clifton. The Henbury giant threw a stone at his rival, but it fell short - and that's the capstone at Druid Stoke. His name was Goram, or Gorm, and he's also associated with the Giant's Grave longbarrow at Holcombe, Maes Knoll, and Wansdyke. You can visit 'Goram's Chair' at Henbury, and the cave of the other giant, Vincent, beneath the fort at Clifton.

(info from the 1979 volume (97) of Bristol + Glouc. Arch. Soc. Trans.)
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
19th April 2005ce
Edited 22nd April 2005ce

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