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The Longstone of Mottistone

Standing Stone / Menhir

<b>The Longstone of Mottistone</b>Posted by A R CaneImage © A R Cane
Nearest Town:Yarmouth (6km WNW)
OS Ref (GB):   SZ407843 / Sheet: 196
Latitude:50° 39' 22.82" N
Longitude:   1° 25' 26.99" W

Added by xyz

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Photographs:<b>The Longstone of Mottistone</b>Posted by goffik <b>The Longstone of Mottistone</b>Posted by goffik <b>The Longstone of Mottistone</b>Posted by goffik <b>The Longstone of Mottistone</b>Posted by A R Cane <b>The Longstone of Mottistone</b>Posted by A R Cane <b>The Longstone of Mottistone</b>Posted by A R Cane <b>The Longstone of Mottistone</b>Posted by A R Cane <b>The Longstone of Mottistone</b>Posted by A R Cane <b>The Longstone of Mottistone</b>Posted by A R Cane <b>The Longstone of Mottistone</b>Posted by bawn79 <b>The Longstone of Mottistone</b>Posted by David Milner <b>The Longstone of Mottistone</b>Posted by wightman <b>The Longstone of Mottistone</b>Posted by Seekers <b>The Longstone of Mottistone</b>Posted by Seekers <b>The Longstone of Mottistone</b>Posted by xyz <b>The Longstone of Mottistone</b>Posted by xyz <b>The Longstone of Mottistone</b>Posted by xyz Maps / Plans / Diagrams:<b>The Longstone of Mottistone</b>Posted by goffik

Fieldnotes

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In my previous entry for the Five Barrows site at Brook on the Isle of Wight I mentioned this site, and explained that it forms the remains of a long barrow. Well, I just paid a visit this afternoon, and it reaffirmed the greatness of this site.

Lying due south of the mighty mother hill that is Mottistone down and within Brightstone Forest, the site is composed of a large sandstone megalith approx. 5m tall and a second recumbent stone at its foot forming the former entrance to the monument. A surprising amount of the barrow remains, making it easy to trace its outline, plus the tomb itself remains defined on the ground. The barrow also appears to be aligned to the summer solstice sunrise. Adding to the splendour of the location is the nearby iron age hill fort atop a small hill a few hundred metres SE of the Longstone. The largest round barrow on the island, the Black Barrow is approximately 1km due east of the Longstone, plus there are several other smaller burial mounds nearby.

The Longstone has always been something of a local landmark and gets quite a lot of visitors due to its fantanstic location within the forest here and also for the top vibes of the area in general. It's certainly great to have such a place more or less on my doorstep.
Posted by xyz
17th November 2000ce

Folklore

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When at the Longstone or Mote-stone which gave its name to Mottistone, in the Isle of Wight, the other day [the writer] was told by an inhabitant of the locality that the two stones were said to have been thrown there from St. Catherine's Down (seven miles away as the crow flies), the larger one by a giant and the smaller by the Devil; and that the giant had to stoop to throw his stone because it was so heavy.
From the Hampshire Antiquary and Naturalist (v1, 1891, p136).
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/72513#page/148/mode/1up
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
21st June 2011ce

"A child might easily swing the great stone backwards and forwards, but a 'mighty man' with great strength would fail to move it if he had 'guilt on his soul'."

(Adrean Searle, in 'Isle of Wight Folklore' (1998) -he doesn't state where he's quoting from)
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
15th February 2006ce

The 13 foot stone is a probable remnant of a Neolithic long barrow. legend has it that the stone was thrown here by a giant, the smaller stone being thrown by the Devil. Alternatively the Devil dropped some stones from his overloaded cart. There was also a belief that Druids used to meet at this stone. pure joy Posted by pure joy
19th March 2003ce

Apparently -

Mottistone means 'speaker's stone' in Old English. The Druids are supposed to have sacrificed white bulls beside the longstone (white cattle with red ears belonged to the fairies or came from the Celtic underworld, so perhaps that is relevant). The two stones here have been interpreted as male and female. Perhaps it's more likely they are the remains of a destroyed burial chamber with more stones.
(folklore found in the Reader's Digest 'Folklore Myths and Legends of Britain')
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
9th May 2002ce
Edited 13th October 2016ce

Miscellaneous

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Perhaps the stones have been moved at some point:
[I state in a paper published August 1884] that the "Longstone" is an upright stone, having a large flat stone (9feet x 4feet x 2feet) lying on the north-east side of it, which I thought might have been slightly moved from its original position. On revisiting the stones last June I found that the flat stone had been shifted about ten feet and that it now lies to the south-east and not to the north-east of the upright stone. Whether anone has been digging there, and, if so, whether anything has been found, I do not know.. my original sketches clearly show that [I had not made a mistake].
The "Longstone" at Mottistone, Isle of Wight
A. L. Lewis
The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 18. (1889), p. 192.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
16th October 2006ce