About a mile from the Summer House, to which a pleasant path conducts the visitor, -- in the wood of Stanton Meend, stands a curiosity highly deserving notice, called BUCKSTONE.From the extravagantly titled 'Descriptive account of the Kymin Pavilion and Beaulieu Grove, with their various views: also, the Naval Temple with new notices of Buckstone, a supposed Druidical relique, near it : to which is added, Lord Nelson's visit to Monmouth, his speeches and conversation at the dinner table, his own remarks on his important victories, with his public reception at Rudhall, Hereford, and other places, on his tour' by Charles Heath. (Hume Tracts, 1813).
This ponderous body of rock, on whose summit many persons might be commodiously seated, rests literally on a pivot so small, that is will scarcely be believed by the spectator, more especially when he is informed that it has remained so for ages. It is generally supposed to be a Druidical relique, of which there are many of the sort in this kingdom.
The Rev. Dr. Booker thus mentions it, in his Poem called the "Hop Garden:"--
The most perfect the Author ever saw, is in a fine wood, the property of Lord GAGE, near Monmouth, commonly called the 'Buckstone;' probably from the Deer having been accustomed to resort to it, both as 'a shadow from the heat, and a shelter from the storm.' The tradition that a BUCK, in order to escape from its hunters, when closely pursued, bounded upon the top of it, -- only merits a place among those marvellous legends which are received by idle credulity.
So exactly does this gigantic insulated Rock seem to equilibrate, that a spectator would almost suppose, he could dislodge it from its narrow base with the force of his single arm, and send it headlong down the steep declivity on which it stands. Such attempts, an aged villager informed the author, he had often seen made, by the united efforts of a number of stout young rustics; and that he had perceived it gently to move in a kind of rocking motion; but invariably settling on its ancient pivot, from which it is evidently detatched.-- Close by it is another Druidical relique, not unlike a small baptismal font, or rather Romish recess for holy water; used, most probably, for some sacrificial purpose.
Mr. KING, in his "Munimenta Antiqua," certainly alludes to this stone:--
[...] "At a small distance, to the east, is a rock scooped into a kind of bason, with a channel, seemingly intended to let out the water after it is filled to a certain height. Whether this was a work of art or nature, may be doubtful; but the whole seems to indicate a Druidical superstitious designation."
Posted by Rhiannon
4th January 2011ce
Edited 4th January 2011ce