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

Thunder Stone

Standing Stone / Menhir


... when the waste or common lands were enclosed by act of parliament about [thirty years ago], most of the stones of which this remarkable monumental curiosity was composed were blown into fragments by the power of gunpowder, and employed by the inhabitants in erecting rude stone fences [...]

The quality of these stones is a species of granite, reddish, and full of large white shining specks of spar-like appearance. When polished, some of them are veined, and have an ornamental appearance. There is no regularity in their shape, and few of them present sharp angles; indeed for the most part they seem from their rounded forms to have been long subjected to the action of water.

This species of stone is called by the country-people thunder-stone, but upon what authority seems a matter of much doubt. I have heard the inhabitants assign two reasons - one, that the stones have fallen from the clouds during thunder-storms; and the other, in consequence of their giving out sparks of fire when struck against each other, at the same time emitting a faint smell of sulphur. But in fact the great majority of the people would not be able to assign any reason for so singular a name, not trougling themselves to inquire into the origin of names.
From 'The Druid Stones near Shap, in Westmoreland' - from a Correspondent in vol 9 of The Penny Magazine of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1840).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
7th October 2010ce

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