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

The Coffin Stone

Natural Rock Feature


In the 1830s two skulls were found under the stone - so perhaps it is the remains of a tomb, and so part of the Medway group of Neolithic barrows where the Pilgrim's way crosses the river.
Judging by the link below, it seems the farmer saw fit to pile another stone on top of it quite recently.
The stone, called by Stukeley, "The Coffin," and now frequently and more appropriately "The Table Stone," lies close to Great Tottington Farm, in an open field on the opposite side of the lane to Lower Kit's Cotty. A hedge formerly concealed more than one-half of the stone, and in this condition it is depicted in Thorpe's Custumale Roffense, the east side alone being exposed. In 1836, this hedge was cleared away, so that the entire stone is now visible. From the same field in which the Coffin Stone lies, many stones have been removed, and others have been sunk in the ground in order to get them below the reach of the plough.

The length of the Coffin Stone is about 14 ft. 6 in., breadth at its north-east end, 8 ft. 6 in.; at south-west end, 5 ft. 5 in., while its depth or thickness averages about 2 ft. Measured diagonally, north and south, its length is 15 ft., and similarly from east to west, 13 ft. 10 in. This stone was, probably, at one time upright, and formed a sepulchral memorial or menhir of some ancient British chieftain.

In confirmation of its once upright position, it lies on the surface of the ground, a stick being easily thrust several feet underneath without meeting with any obstruction. Another still more conclusive fact is, that when the hedge was removed in 1836, from around the Coffin Stone, two human skulls were met with, besides other human bones. Some charcoal, a frequent accompaniment of early burials, was also found while grubbing in the same hedgerow. Fragments of Roman pottery have also been brought to light within a short distance.

There is a saying in the neighbourhood that this stone is the largest in Kent. Some of those in Addington Park, are, however, nearly of equal dimensions.
On the megalithic remains in mid-Kent, by EHW Dunkin, in The Reliquary for Oct 1871.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
2nd May 2002ce
Edited 31st May 2016ce

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