|Fourstones is the name of the settlement at the foot of the hillfort. So I admit this is a slightly shoehorned in bit of folklore but it is Stone related.. and who knows where and what the original Four Stones really were? It's easy to blame things on the Romans when you're so close to Hadrian's Wall.
The name of this place is said to have been derived "from its being bounded by four stones, supposed to have been formed to hold holy water." But other accounts say that these stones were Roman altars, and that there is a story current in the neighbourhood, that one of them was called the "Fairy Stone," because in the rebellion of 1715, the focus of this altar was formed into a square recess, with a cover, to receive the correspondence of the rebel chiefs, and that a little boy clad in green came in the twilight of very evening to carry away the letters left in it for Lord Derwentwater, and deposit his answers, which were "spirited" away in a similar manner by the agency of some of his friends.From p868 of 'History, Topography and Directory of Northumberland' 1855. The page can be seen on Google Books here:
The book also mentions "Castle Hill" as an alternative name for this hillfort (the same name as that given to one of the Roman forts here) and how it "commands an extensive view of the North and South Tyne, and all the principal villages and buildings up both these rivers may be distinctly perceived." It does seem to have a very strategic location.
On the North side, the OS map marks the 'Giant's Well', which hints at some more local folklore.
Apparently: 1278.-- It appears to have been customary for the king of Scotland, the archbishop of York, the prior of Tynemouth, the bishop of Durham, and Gilbert de Umfreville (by their bailiffs), to meet the justices coming to Newcastle, to hold pleas, and ask their liberties of them [..] at "Fourstanes," when they came from Cumberland.
From 'Local Records; or, historical register of remarkable events' by John Sikes, v1, p29 (1833).
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=MkkuAAAAMAAJ on Google Books.
Posted by Rhiannon
8th March 2008ce
Edited 2nd April 2008ce