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

Bush Bank

Standing Stone / Menhir


Fieldnotes from Bush Bank and slightly beyond (13.2.2010). The 501 bus stops within 100 yards of the stone, so not much effort required to get to this one. A small upright stone of (I guess) sandstone, very shaggy with moss on its eastern face. It has apparently been re-erected and did not originally stand in this position, which is on the embanked verge of a minor road, not far from the Roman road (A4110) making its way to Kenchester (Magnis) a few miles to the south. Local ley-hunter Alfred Watkins assigned it as the remains of a wayside cross but is has been considered as a Bronze Age standing stone elsewhere (see Miscellaneous post).

There's not much to give away its origins, but it's worth a quick visit as it is so easily accessible and because Herefordshire is hardly overburdened with megaliths (of which more shortly). From here I set off for Canon Pyon round barrow, via Kings Pyon village. The church in Kings Pyon is very odd! It's built on top of huge mound, on the top of which is what appears to be bank and ditch (ditch on the inside, like a henge). No idea if this is in any way significant. It could be a Christianised prehistoric site, but equally a medieval construction or modern landscaping. Inside the church (nice medieval beamed roof - sorry I'm rather out of TMA remit here), was an extraordinary single-sided leaflet:

"This church stands on a site sacred to our ancestors for at least 5,000 years. At Midsummer, they would look towards the Stone at Bush Bank at the sun rising over the Stone Circle atop Westhope Hill and onwards to stones where now stand Stoke Prior, Pudlestone and Bockleton churches; at the Midwinter sun rising over stones preceding churches at Wellington, Marden, Withington, Stock Edith, Little Marcle and Donnington. The Circles fell into disuse and now our Churches are threatened from all sides."

So I'm apparently in the middle of a megalithic complex and ritual landscape to rival Wiltshire. Apart from the fact that there is nothing but an over-active imagination and complete conjecture to support any of this, what a surreal thing to find in a village church!

From here it's onwards past the (to my now fevered brain) proto-Silbury of Pyon Hill to the round barrow, with visions of a hitherto undiscovered world of Herefordshire stone circles, henges and monoliths in mind.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
14th February 2010ce

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