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

Thor Stone

Standing Stone / Menhir


A glorious late afternoon in August - golden light bathing all it touches forming long shadows and a quick trip with my kids (before we go home and light the BBQ) to the tiny but perfectly formed hamlet of Taston on the edge of the Oxfordshire Cotwolds. Perfect! except that this afternoon the nation learned that two missing Cambridgeshire girls, Holly and Jessica, had been murdered and were never coming home. It felt all the more important to be with my children and go to someplace old.

The 7 foot tall Thorstone stands idly against a garden wall in the middle of Taston, leaning nonchalently as if waiting for a rural bus service that was discontinued years before. Of the same limestone as the Hawk Stone and the Rollrights, this is yet more evidence of the scale and importance of the north Oxfordshire landscape as a megalithic centre. But why here in Taston?

The water source maybe? An enchanting spring at the other end of the village bubbles up and out via a Victorian gothic memorial fountain, hidden away under a canopy of yews and beech trees, creating a delightful shady pond before it tumbles away to form a stream. My son was thrilled to be able to paddle and catch tiny shrimps. We admired the liverworts growing in the water as is tumbles over the lip of the fountain, and put our heads down to taste the cold, cold, pure water flowing straight up from the earth.

The Thorstone stands opposite an old cross on the tiny village green. If you can find Taston (between Charlbury, Enstone and Chipping Norton), you'll find the stone. See 'folklore' for more about the cross and the name.
Jane Posted by Jane
18th August 2002ce

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