Much has changed in the last almost fourteen years on the modern antiquarian, people come and people go, theories get aired then discarded, and apparently you used to be able to add a spurious site without any disputed antiquity tag being applied.
Great Hagley is one of those sites.
I've been a TMA'er for quite a while now and during this time I've clicked on just about every site contained therein, including this large standing stone, it immediately went onto my list of places to see, just like the Murder stone and Minninglow. But even though the stone is not marked on any map, and it's not listed on any monument record, here it is parading around like an actual menhir, if it had a disputed antiquity tag I might not have come, indeed it is not very easy to get to either.
And, the fact that there is no granite anywhere near here, throws more doubt into the mix. Ok, a more famous place than this imported lots of stones from some far away place. But would you bother with it for a solitary standing stone?
If it is hard to imagine why ancient man would go so far for a piece of granite then it's even harder to imagine why some one in more modern times would go so far for it. Besides, I find it a touch difficult to believe that mindless rock diligently sticks to geology maps, or that geology maps are 100% infallible.
Marks in it's favour are few, it isn't a scratching post, (if such things exist at all) unless cows round here are as tall as elephants, never saw any cows near here anyway. It's in a good position for a stone like this, with the immaculate Caer Caradoc hill fort across the valley, and many becairned hill tops on the horizon. But maybe that suggests it was put here after the fort was built.
Quite annoying isn't it.
But having had my whine and whinge, it's always good to scratch that itch, it is now crossed off the list, and slowly fading from the obsessive side of my mind. Now it is time to go some where that is definitely, certainly and prominently ancient.
I have walked around this area for about 6 years and must have passed within 200 metres of this stone over 100 times but it wasn't until just before the winter solstice that I saw it. It was on a gloriously bright sunday afternoon, I was sitting on the top of a hill testing out my new pair of binoculars when I saw something glinting in the sun which looked like the top of a stone, I had to check it out and when I did I was stunned - I'd found a standing stone. I've no idea of its age but the stone doesn't appear to be of a local type, it’s pretty heavily weathered and looks like it's been there for a long while.
The pictures say it all really, it stands in an amazing position with views of many other sites, and it's 2.5 - 3 Metres tall and is around 350 - 450mm square at the base.