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Dead Woman's Stone

Standing Stone / Menhir (Destroyed)


Details of Stone on Pastscape

'Dead Woman's Stone', possible standing stone of unknown date, now lost or destroyed.

Dead Woman's Stone (NAT) (SY 82209164) (1)
Dead Woman's Stone shown on OS cannot be traced in heathland now devasted by tanks. (2)
Shown as The Dead Woman on Tithe Map 1839. (3)
Since the 1960s the site has been used as a tank raining area, and latterly as a conifer plantation. There is no sign of the stone and it is presumed to be lost or destroyed. Ground photo with archive report. (4)

( 1) Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) OS 6" 1902
( 2) General reference RCHM Dorset 2 pt 3 1970 513 No 65
( 3) General reference EPNS Dorset 1 1977 290 (A D Mills)
( 4) English Heritage Alternative Action Report KC, MPPA, Dec-2001
Chance Posted by Chance
9th March 2012ce

Comments (1)

The Dead Woman's Stone was relocated to the nearby village of Briantspuddle by Canadian soldiers during the Second World War. For many years it sat on the forecourt of the garage, but in 2011, with the agreement of the Parish Council, it was moved to the cross-roads in the centre of the village, by the War Memorial.

There is a plaque with the stone, showing the location where it was found (as on the earlier Ordnance Survey and Tithe maps), and reading: "Dead Woman's Stone - Believed to mark a medieval (1400's) suicide's grave near the former crossroads at Clouds Hill. Rediscovered in 1935 by T E Lawrence and Joyce Knowles, of Clouds Hill, it was brought to Briantspuddle during World War 2 by Canadian soldiers for safety. It was relocated here in 2011"

T E Lawrence was, of course, "Lawrence of Arabia". Following his death in May 1935 his cottage at Clouds Hill was transferred in 1937 to the National Trust, and Joyce Knowles (Lawrence's neighbour) became the custodian of the house for 50 years for the National Trust.

There is a page or so on the Dead Woman's Stone (with a little bit more detail) in Joyce's memoire "The Life and Times of Joyce E Knowles", Bob Hunt, 1994, E V G Hunt, Publisher. [A bit hard to come by, as only 500 copies were printed.]
Posted by mgething
28th August 2018ce
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