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Pyrford Stone

Standing Stone / Menhir

<b>Pyrford Stone</b>Posted by pure joyImage © martin bull
Nearest Town:West Byfleet (1km N)
OS Ref (GB):   TQ038587 / Sheet: 186
Latitude:51° 19' 2.55" N
Longitude:   0° 30' 37.31" W

Added by Rhiannon

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<b>Pyrford Stone</b>Posted by pure joy


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Pyrford Stone - 11.5.2003

Yep, the grid ref is spot on Rhiannon. However the grass verge where the stone lies is actually directly opposite Upshott Lane. And yes that verge is part of the ridiculously Big Brother-ish entrance to ‘Pyrford Court’, littered with signs saying ‘Private Property – No Turning – No Parking’ and warned you of CCTV cameras. To put it politely, fuck that! No Turning? Umm, why? What harm does that do? And do they fail to see the irony of what the stone’s plaque says about it being “on this corner since time immemorial”?

The stone is tiny (85cm x 40cm) and eerily smooth with a sharp-ish edge on its east side. It is extremely small to be a possible ancient standing stone, however the top is flat as if maybe it was larger before and had been broken?

The plaque reads “This boundary stone dates from before the Norman Conquest and is possibly a prehistoric standing stone. Situated on this corner since time immemorial, it was moved to its present position during road widening. This plaque was donated by local residents in 1976”
pure joy Posted by pure joy
11th May 2003ce

About 2' high, this is next to a busy-ish road at the entrance to some kind of private estate.

The plaque mentions that the stone is definitely pre-norman (presumably a Domesday book reference), but beyond that, not much is known.

Found some great conkers, but beyond that, a pretty dull experience!
grrr Posted by grrr
14th October 2002ce
Edited 12th August 2003ce


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Kicking a Cross.--In July, 1901, I was making enquiries in Pyrford about the well-known Pyrford Stone, which "turns round when Pyrford clock strikes," or "when it hears the cock crow." A gardener, a resident in Pyrford but not a native, said,-- "I expect it was put up in remembrance of someone being killed. There's a cross scratched on it, so I expect it's like kicking a cross. Don't you know that? I've been in many parishes, and they always kick a cross in the road where anyone's been murdered or killed in an accident." Here he made a cross in the dust with his foot. "If a man's been killed in an accident on the road, the policeman'll always kick a cross; and some people keep on kicking a cross in the same place year after year. There've been several people killed on Pyrford Rough, but no one seems to trouble to keep up the crosses."
Scraps of English Folklore, XII. (North Bedfordshire Suffolk, London and Surrey)
Barbara Aitken
Folklore, Vol. 37, No. 1. (Mar. 31, 1926), pp. 76-80.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
20th February 2007ce

The stone at Pyrford is said to move about at midnight (surely this was not noticed en route home from the pub?). It used to lie in the centre of the road but was moved to the side (1976?). It's on the corner of Upshott Lane - I hope the OS ref is accurate.

St Nicholas's church up the road has a circular churchyard, which has been suggested as proof of the site's pre-christian origins.

Another story says the stone turns round when the clock on St Nicholas's strikes midnight. But in true local humour style, the church has never had a clock.

(I think these snippets may come from one of the Bord's collections).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
25th April 2002ce
Edited 20th February 2007ce