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


Coffin Stone

Natural Rock Feature

Nearest Town:Buckfastleigh (7km SE)
OS Ref (GB):   SX677733 / Sheet: 191
Latitude:50° 32' 37.88" N
Longitude:   3° 52' 2.74" W

Added by Rhiannon

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This rock with reputation is so near all the stone rows and cists and hut circles at Yar Tor that I don't feel too cheeky to add it.
The descent to Dartmeet [from New Bridge] by the road is one of over five hundred feet. Halfway is the Coffin-stone, on which five crosses are cut, and which is split in half - the story goes, by lightning. On this it is customary to rest a dead man on his way from the moor beyond Dartmeet to his final resting-place at Widdecombe. When the coffin is laid on this stone, custom exacts the production of the whisky bottle, and a libation all round to the manes of the deceased.

One day a man of very evil life, a terror to his neighbours, was being carried to his burial, and his corpse was laid on the stone whilst the bearers regaled themselves. All at once, out of a passing cloud shot a flash, and tore the coffin and the dead man to pieces, consuming them to cinders, and splitting the stone. Do you doubt the tale? See the stone cleft by the flash.
From p195 of Baring-Gould's "Book of Dartmoor" of 1900.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
1st November 2011ce
Edited 1st November 2011ce