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

The Godstone

Christianised Site


THE GODSTONE, FORNBY.—In the churchyard of Saint Luke, Formby—a village on the Lancashire coast between the Mersey and the Ribble—is to be seen an ancient stone, bearing on it an incised cross on a Calvary of three steps surmounted by an orb. Until recently Roman Catholics were buried here, and the coffins carried three times round this stone, presumably (as in other instances) following the way of the sun. The custom may be very ancient, and indeed a pagan survival. Roman Catholics, moreover, in visiting the churchyard, used to kneel down and pray before this stone. The church has been rebuilt, but was of Norman or pro-Norman foundation. The font is remarkable, polygonal in plan, with twentythree sides. HENRY TAYLOR.,
Birklands, Birkdale, Lancashire.
From N+Q, MArch 7th, 1908. Do I detect a hint of 'Those wacky Roman Catholics!!' in his attitude? Perhaps. But it doesn't shed any more light on the stone's mysterious roots. He doesn't seem aware of it being moved into the churchyard (supposedly only 30 years before, according to Jimmyd's notes) - in any case quite a weird thing to do with an allegedly pagan stone. You think you'd sooner be moving such things out of churchyards.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
3rd September 2006ce
Edited 3rd September 2006ce

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