Directions: Take the road north towards the village of Matfen near the junction of the B6318 / B6321. Before you get to Matfen itself you come to a nice looking 'fortified' house. Park near the house (didn't seem to be anyone home) and you will see the stone easy enough. The grass was standing waist high around the stone so it was difficult to see the cupmarks.
The weathering on the stone reminded me of the Devils Arrows – obviously a mini version!
This is a very easy site to access (look from the car window if you prefer – as Karen did!) and is well worth a look when in the area / visiting the nearby Warrior Stone.
It's another hypergroovey bit of stone.
The channels down this, and others like the Poind's man, The Warrior Stone, Duddo, proudly display their centuries of braving the elements.
It's also got a goodly number of cup marks, on all four sides according to Stan The Man.
There's something about the grooves though, that taunts my imagination. They are so similar to similar grooves found running horizontally on natural rock features such as Dove Crag on Simonside, or even the vertical ones on Robin Hood's stride further afield.
Part of me wonders if stones suh as the Matfen stone were deliberately quarried from already weathered rock.
One bad point about this stone, it has a chip recently taken off it near the bottom of the SW corner. Fresh new yellow stone is like a raw wound. Whether as the result of accident or deliberate idiotic behaviour, it's shocking bad hat.
Situated down a side road on the left about 1 mile south of Matfen village on the edge of an impeccably manicured grass verge lies the Matfen stone. A strange fortified house/farm is across the road and whoever owns it obviously likes to keep the stone from becoming overgrown which is cool (although their reuse of the old pump down the road as a flower basket hanger is a tad twee).
The stone is about six foot high and has the same deep harsh vertical grooves caused by weathering as the Devil's Arrows. What's different about the Matfen Stone is the many cupmarks carved around the base (well over thirty).
Not really a place to stop and linger (you have the uncomfortable feeling someone is tut-tutting at you from behind a curtain across the road), but a good antidote if you've had too much of Hadrian's Wall.
"W. Matfen is the seat of sir William Blacket, bart. and in an adjoining field is a circular mount with a cavity at top, and by it a stone nine feet high, three feet by one and a half thick, called the Stob stone.
In opening of other tumuli of stones have been found two kistvaens, or coffins of four stones set on edge with a bottom and cover, containing the ashes of the dead appearing in a white dust. It has since all been removed"
There's certainly no large mound next to the Matfen stone nowadays.