Whilst driving south along the minor moorland road between Grosmont and Newton-on-Rawcliffe I counted 6 of these roadside stones. 3 of which had square holes cut into the upper part. The stones are tall and quite impressive. How old? Who knows?
They appear to be markers across this bleak moorland to assist travelers?
There are two of these, one on each side of the road. Whilst the tradition of young couples holding hands through the hole as they take their vows at Doagh (Co. Antrim) is interesting, it can hardly apply here – these giants are nine feet high! I have no idea what they are, or from which period they come.
There is a smaller version (about 2½ feet high) further south on this road, at the turn-off to Three Howes.
As Arthur Atkinson would say, “How queer!”
I have to agree with Moth on these stones, the ones with the holes just don’t look old at all - they almost look like modern stones cut to look like old stones. The flat faces are just too flat for my liking as well and the stones don’t seem to be eroded to any great extent, in an exposed place like this they should be weathered stumps surely, and look more like mini Devil’s Arrows, but they just don’t. The rectangular holes are just too perfect, although of course they could have been cut much later.
The stone at the south, which is a tall slender thing could be older than the others but I’m still not convinced. I did like the third stone from the south though, a large flat thin slab that stands face-on to the road and does have a megalithic air about it but again an almost complete lack of weathering on the top and sides says ‘modern’ to my eyes. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed visiting these stones, Murk Mire Moor is a great place and all the stones have a lovely view down to the sea, I just don’t think they are more than a couple of hundred years old at most. I’d love to be proved wrong though ! (And I probably will be)
As for the holes? My guess is they could have been for placing lamps in, or for hanging lamps from either side.
Further south down the road where it passes by the side of the woods on Pickering Moor there are some more stones, a set of three, one of which forms a gatepost and a little further along is another pair in some long grass behind the fence, probably all just old fence posts but pretty none the less.
Saturday 23 August 2003
Very odd. Approaching from the north, the first 2 stones I saw were ones with the holes in. As I'd thought when I noticed them on TMA the night before, they looked about as prehistoric as my 2 year old boy!!!
The tooling is much too noticeable, too angular and just, well, too for anything pre-iron age, surely?
They and a couple of the others did though, put me in mind of Long Tom on Fyfield Down near Avebury, which Julian refers to in the big papery TMA as an iron age waymarker.
And at least one other looks like it could be the real thing!
All that said, surely there's no doubt what their function is nowadays? They've got to be waymarkers for the road when snowed under! (And so, in my opinion, whatever their age they're unlikely to be in their original positions.)
Just stumbled across these stones when taking a wrong turn in Pickering and decided to see where the road led, thinking I was completely lost, I spotted them.
The stones looked great looming out of the darkness, and I instantly recognised them.
The stones do look quite odd lined up over such a distance, but they certainly add interest to your jouney. Some naughty people had been there leaving their cheap offerings of pennies (dearest I spotted was a 10p piece!), so I flicked those off, and then watched the daddy-long-legs dance over the stones in my torch light.
Next time there's a sunny day, I'll have to pay this lot another visit and see what they're like in the daylight.
This is a strange one. 6 standing stones along a four mile stretch of moorland road.
If you approach from the south, the first stone is on the brow of a hill just after the ford over the Wheeldale Gill. The stones all vary in shape and character. Three of the stones have a single rectangular hole cut into them.
Unfortunately I could only spend a few minutes at each stone but I shall definitely return here soon and make a more thorough investigation of this strange site.
A little further south on the same road you can see an exposed section of roman road, known locally as Wades causeway.
The roman road known as Wades Causeway was supposed to have been built by the local giant Wade. He built the road so that his wife, Bell, could cross the swampy moors to milk her giant cow.
Bell carried the cobbles and shingles used for the road in her giant apron. Occasionally Bell's apron would slip, dropping piles of stones around the moors (the barrows and standing stones of the moors).
EH report a stone called 'The Auld Man' NMR no. NZ70SE2. The Pastscape website states that this stone has been removed or destroyed and was located at NZ794013.
I wonder if it is possible that this stone http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/post/19565 is 'The Auld Man'? Its location is NZ795015