Visited 19.9.2010. I must have walked past this stone several hundred times when we lived in York, yet I have never noticed it before, nor did I know it was there until Sunday. On our way to the (re-vamped) Yorkshire Musuem, it was a case of - there's some prehistoric rock art!
The Museum is still worth a visit, although it's a bit pricey now we're non-residents. The prehistory bit is rather overshadowed by the much larger Roman and Medieval displays, unsurprisingly given York's history perhaps. Also a lack of information about provenance for most of the prehistoric stuff, although the finds from the Arras cart burial are very nice.
We left it a bit late to look for this stone and it was dusk as we hit the the gardens. After looking at a couple of big stones by bins ("surely they wouldn't put it be a bin?" we hoped) we spotted it in a line of stones along the path on the right hand side as you approach the museum.
It is strange in that there is NOTHING to alert you to its presence or where it is from (this is a museum garden, after all) - it is as if they don't even realise it is there. It seems just stuck in with a load of other path-lining rocks. Strange.
The light wasn't good enough to get any decent shots but it was lovely to see, after being fed a diet of Romans and Vikings all day!
From "A Short History of York" by Marguerita Spence and Marian E Everatt (1948):
"....the corner of Burton Stone Lane, where stood the hapel of St. Mary Magdalene. Here travellers prayed for safe guidance through the Forest of Galtres."
From "York" by John Harvey (1983):
"Soon after this is the corner of Burton Stone Lane, with the historic - or prehistoric - Burton Stone marking the limit of the old jurisdiction of the city on this side of the road."
From "This Is York" by CB Knight (1954):
"At the far corner of Burton Stone Lane, in front of the Burton Stone Inn, is a stone enclosed in iron railings. This is the Burton Stone, which gives its name to the lane. It recalls the fact that in 1604 there was a violent outbreak of plague in the city, and 3,512 persons are said to have died of it...........Stone crosses were erected on all the main high roads approaching the city at the city boundaries, around which the country people exposed their provisions for sale without entering the city. The Burton Stone was the base of one of these crosses, and remains as a reminder of a very sorrowful time in York's chequered history. I have not been able to trace what the name Burton signifies. Several members of a family of this name were very active in local affairs at the close of the seventeenth century, and may have resided near by."