The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Get the TMA Images feed
andygreyweather's Latest Posts

Latest Posts

The Weald Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Miscellaneous

A short cycle ride south, down Brooks Hill, across the roundabout on the Uxbridge Road, past fast food outlets and something called a Homebase, we find on the left hand side, at the junction with College Road, The Weald Stone public house; proud guardian of the Weald Stone from which it takes its name. A hefty pub sign announces the lozenge shaped Stone to be a "boundary stone"; its image beautifully picked out in gold. Across the red brick suburban architecture of the adjacent hostelry is simply emblazoned 'The Weald Stone'. Borough planning has incorporated the Weald Stone into the road side, gutter and pavement, like a curb stone on steroids. (OS TQ1507 9082) Folklore frequently tells the story of wandering Stones, such as the Diamond or Swindon Stone of Avebury which is said visit the River Kennet "for a drink at midnight", returning by day break to sleep off it's aerobic jaunt. The Weald Stone went missing for a time too; between a mention in 1549 and its re-appearance in 1834 we can only assume that the Weald Stone was either buried, sank into the ground, or went walk about for some 285 years! According to an article entitled "Some Thoughts on the Wealdstone" in the Harrow Civic Bulletin (1951), a certain Thomas Toumor "widened the runnel (stream) in his meadow against the Stone before the feast of Pentecost (Wit Sunday)" in 1523. Suggestion is made that the Weald Stone was subsequently either pushed into the runnel as a prank, or that its undermined foundation simply resulted in its collapse. It seems quite within the realm of possibility that it simply slumped into the mud and silt following Toumour's digging and with no practical importance, was allowed to slumber until its re-appearance in 1834; when local builders dug it up. Walter Druett states in his book Harrow Through The Ages (1938) that "There is some doubt concerning the purpose of these stones which were brought from a long distance, but they were probably used as direction points and may also have indicated the burying place of some chieftain". The Weald Stone Inn, now in its fourth recorded incarnation as a pub, was known for many years as the Red Lion Hotel. Prior to it's re-building in 1935, the Weald Stone was apparently embedded in the corner of the "old house" which was constructed around 1834, if indeed the Weald Stone used was the original. It therefore seems unlikely that the Weald Stone was ever used as either a coal marker or a step up to ones horse and/or carriage. It may have been set upright in the ground or it could be a fragment of a much larger Stone; it would be interesting to find a drawing of the original Red Lion Hotel circa 1834, showing the Stone in situ.

As a bit of a spoiler, the NMR (National Monuments Record) report on the Weald Stone reckons "(Any) suggested association with prehistoric man must … be treated with reserve. It was a recognised land mark in Tudor times". Strangely, the summary concludes "A standing stone, possibly a Medieval or later stone not in situ."

The area around the Weald Stone is rich in Neolithic and Bronze age history ... Stanmore Common houses one of the largest known longbarrows in the country ... although it has suffered from erosion ... few records of this wonderful barrow exist ... likewise the Bronze age barrow nearby.
andygreyweather hasn't added a profile

My TMA Content: