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

Five Kings

Stone Row / Alignment


There are only 4 stones remaining. With plantation on three sides, and Dues hill rising behind them, these stones are almost hidden from the surrounding landscape. Remove the trees, and a superb view of the flanks of Simonside could be had. I'd always assumed that this would indicate some kind of deliberate placing of the stones in relation to Simonside, as so many other sites seem to have this hill as their focus.

But I'm not so sure now. Despite the view to Simonside that would be possible without the pine trees, I couldn't shake my attention past them, and my mind kept returning to Dues hill. It's etymological connection with the Duergar, the black dwarves of Simonside's mythology, and the strange nodules in the bedrock were far more interesting than the over densely planted view blockers. Combined with the possible long mound on Hareheugh hill, and the BA boundary dike and barrows at Holystone, not to mention the cairn circle at Piper Shaws, it all just gets too confusing. There are many other sites potentially connected in some way, but I shan't belabour the point.
Grouse shooting, ever present wet bracken and driving rain didn't help the pondering process much either. I gave up looking for traces of the fifth stone.

Still, these are large standing stones for Northumberland. The tallest of the kings tops 2m, and it's quite remarkable to find four in a line in these parts no matter how tall they are.

If you're sticking to footpaths (as it's a good idea to do in shooting season), it's a couple of miles from the handy parking spot on the Hepple-Holystone road. The path via Dueshill Farm gets quite narrow and slippy at points, and the bracken is a pain in the butt. There are a couple of stiles, so disabled access is not good.
Hob Posted by Hob
16th November 2004ce

Comments (1)

250m east of the four Kings, near the edge of the field, at 55.294617, -2.064279 there's a similar sized stone lying on its side. It's quite eroded, presumably by the sheep in the field, on its top surface, but on the east side it looks very much like the same kind of sandstone(?) as the Kings. see
Posted by LMSM
23rd May 2019ce
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