Knock knock, excuse me I got an information to ask: in my deep ignorance,
(I've never been to England but I plan to do it soon and, worst, I've never read the books of Julian. I find it difficult to find them here in Italy), The Matfen Stone reminds me a lot of The Queen Stone near Symonds Yat and The Devil's Arrows of Yorkshire.The question is: are those kind of stones of natural conformation with their deep lines on the their tops or those lines are engraved by human hands?
Well Mr Moth, I think it's Northumbrian Fell sandstone, from the carboniferous period (apparently). There are still some lumps of it in situ with the grooves: http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/post/39742/bowden_doors.html
Nearly all of Northumberland's standing stones are made from it, and those that are all have the grooves. The concensus opinion seems to be that they were probably a bit grooved when they were first put up, and that a few thousand years of gravity and water have enhanced them. Devil's Arrows are probably the same stuff.
Hi Mr Moth and Mr Hob,
thank you so much for your exhaustive explanation. You've been very useful to me.
I'm trying to understand the reasons why our ancestors were chosen that particular kind of stone instead of another to build up their monuments.
I'm studying but there's not so much in books (at least in italian books) about it. So I use my nose and every information is precious!
You really got the Best of sites over there!
I'm so happy since I've known You and I'm so proud to be a contributor on TMA. Because of TMA I got three new megalythomaniacs friends of my area here in Italy (one is a new TMA contributor too, his name is Wido).
So surely we'll make something good together!
Love and Gratitude
Sadly Hob is relating a load of bollocks. The grooves have been carved into the stones as a conscious act of design. Rock of the hardness of fine-grained sandstone simply does not erode in this way ...