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Wergins Stone

Standing Stone / Menhir

<b>Wergins Stone</b>Posted by thesweetcheatImage © A. Brookes (28.1.2010)
Also known as:
  • Devil's Stone

Nearest Town:Hereford (3km SSW)
OS Ref (GB):   SO529439 / Sheet: 149
Latitude:52° 5' 27.47" N
Longitude:   2° 41' 15.17" W

Added by Rhiannon

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<b>Wergins Stone</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Wergins Stone</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Wergins Stone</b>Posted by thesweetcheat


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Visited 22.3.13

Take the A49 north, out of Hereford, and then the minor road on the right signposts Moreton On Lugg then Sutton St Nicholas. When you enter the village of Sutton St Nicholas turn right (south) at the cross roads. Shortly after crossing the bridge the stone is easily visible in a field to your left.

It has been a long time since I ‘hugged a stone’ and I was looking forward to visiting this site.
Unfortunately I had to settle for a view from the road.
Between the road and the stone is a ditch which presumably is there to assist with field drainage? Due to the wet weather the ditch was now a small stream – too deep to wade through / too wide to jump across.

However, the stone is easily seen from road and has a small metal fence surrounding it to protect it from farm machinery etc. Which I guess is something to be applauded.

Pity I couldn’t get to touch it though……………..
Posted by CARL
23rd March 2013ce

A stop-off after a visit to Sutton Walls (28.1.2010). The stone is in a field alongside the River Lugg next to a busy B-road. It is cut off from the road by a deep drainage ditch and has been surrounded by an unsightly box-like fence. Not very welcoming sadly, perhaps I'll come again for a proper look when it's not raining! thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
28th January 2010ce
Edited 28th January 2010ce


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Strange Newes From Hereford.

My kind love and service remembred unto you and your good wife, these are to let you understand of a strange thing which happened in the Wergins upon Wednesday was sennight in the day time about 12. of the clock, a mighty wind did drive a Stone as much as 6. Oxen could well draw six-score, and ploughed a furrow a foote and a halfe deepe all the way it went, and another Stone which 12. Oxen did draw to the Wirgins many yeares since, that Stone being farre bigger then the other Stone, was carried the same time a quarter of a myle, & made no impression at all in the ground, but the Water was in the Medow a foote deepe. The bigger Stone was round and a yard and a quarter over, and about a yard deepe, the lesser Stone was a yard and halfe in length, and was made fast upon the other Stone untill the wind, and I know not what did part them, there was a man of Mr. Iames Seabornes, which was riding to Hereford, did see one of the Stones going, and as he relates, a blacke Dog going before the Stone, the man was a great distance of and put in a greate feare, other Market people doe relate it, because I would write the truth unto you, I ridde this morning to see the Stones, and as I could guesse the Stones to be carried the same distance which I have written unto you, I presume you knew the Wirgins, it is the way as we ride to Sutton, and the stones were brought to the Wirgins long since, for a Marke to know the way. All your friends here are in good health, and we wish the like to you and yours. Thus praying to God to mend these miserable times, I cease.
Your loving friend,
William Westfaling.
Hereford, Febr. the 23. 1641.
From an appendix in Memorials of the Civil War by the Rev T W Webb (v2), 1879. Apparently this strange incident was seen as one of a number of strange portents 'attended to with intense interest and dread' that occurred in the period leading up to the war, as the Rev explains here.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
8th August 2013ce
Edited 8th August 2013ce

A slight variation/addition to the folklore:

"at noon on Wednesday 16th February 1642 an extraordinarily strong wind dragged the upright Wergins Stone 120 yards away, making an 18" dent in the ground the whole distance, and carried the base stone 440 yards away through the air; a satanic black dog was seen running before one of the stones"

From "Stone Spotting In Herefordshire" - Jonathan Sant (2000 Moondial), referring to "Civil War in Herefordshire" - John Webb (1879)
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
7th January 2009ce

This stone is nearly 5ft high and stands (according to the Herefordshire SMR) in a pentagonal base - maybe a cross base. But they do say it's prehistoric. Bar the cross base.

Gough's 1806 'Camden' mentions two stones, perhaps the remains of a cromlech. The meadow where they were was called 'Wergins', hence the name. An alternative title - the Devil's Stone - comes from a strange incident in the 17th century:
Between Sutton and Hereford, is a common meadow call'd the Wergins, where were plac'd two large stones for a watermark; one erected upright, and the other laid a-thwart. In the late Civil Wars, about the Year 1652, they were remov'd to about twelve score paces distance, and no body knew how; which gave occasion to a common opinion, That they were carried thither by the Devil. When they were set in their places again, one of them requir'd nine yoke of oxen to draw it.
from Daniel Defoe's 1720s 'Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain' (excerpt online at 'A Vision of Britain Through Time'

The stone is right by the road, according to the OS map, so barring any hedges you might be able to see it from the comfort of your car.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
1st June 2005ce
Edited 1st June 2005ce


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Sacred Texts

Alfred Watkins thought the Wergins Stone (top right in the picture) was an ancient marker, the flat face pointing out the direction of a 'ley'. This photo is part of his 'Early British Trackways' book, online at the Sacred Texts archive.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
1st June 2005ce