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

Hanging Stone

Natural Rock Feature


With half a day to kill I decided to check out a few local sites. My first stop was Hanging Stone.
Probably the easiest way to access the stone is to walk up through the woods from Hutton Village.
The footpath is pretty good in most parts but there are some fairly swampy patches and a number of steep banks to climb.
Hanging stone is a natural outcrop at the most northerly point of a narrow 2km long ridge that runs roughly north-south from Hutton Moor.
The narrow horizontal outcrop jutts out of the hillside giving it an alter-like appearance. At first glance the rock appears to be man-made, this is due to the 'building block-sized' horizontal bedding of the outcrop.
What makes the ridge and Hanging Stone significant is that the people of the Bronze Age placed at least 4 barrows along this short, narrow ridge. To me this would imply that the shape, nature and views from the Hanging Stone would not have been lost on the Bronze Age and possibly earlier folk. In my wildest flights of fancy I can see the easily accessible flat top of the hanging stone being used as an excarnation platform or the base for a pyre, but like I say, a flight of fancy.

One point of interest is that there is a rock just behing the main outcrop which contains and almost perfectly circular, shallow 5 inch basin. The edges and sides of this basin are extremely smooth leading me to conclude that is is probably natural or has been carved by a skilled, post- prehistoric, mason.
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
10th February 2006ce
Edited 10th February 2006ce

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