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

Woodborough Holed Stone

Holed Stone


This is clearly nothing to do with this or the hanging stone? but I thought the piece worth recording, as it is about lost nearby stones with a name.
"In the lowland vale separating the northern and southern tracts of downs, there was entire, in 1773, near Woodborough, an immense block, popularly called the kissing stone. This, I learned with regret, has been broken and dispersed for various purposes, more than twenty years past; and now not a fragment remains upon the spot. It was probably of the sarsen kind, so commonly broken on the Marlborough downs for building, &c. in default of other stone, which is very scarce also about Woodborough. It has, perhaps been thus made use of; and in truth, I observed some neighbouring cottages partly constructed with sarsen fragments. To deem it a mass destined for Stonehenge, does not, I think, appear extravagant; it seems, certainly, to have been brought thus far into the vale, from off the northern tract of downs. Although the mysterious ceremonies of ancient times had long ceased around this stone, yet its modern name implies the celebration of other rites that succeeded them, and that should have preserved it from destruction, had not the unrelenting possessor remained deaf to the entreaties of the villagers.

About a mile and a half, south-west from the site where this stone lay, at a small arched footbridge over a rivulet, is a spot called Limber-stone; where I noticed some large pieces of sarsen-stone, lying beside the stream. To found a conjecture on this, and the name only, may be thought unwarrantable; therefore, I will only observe, without laying any stress on it, that by allowing a small latitude of signification to the word limber, the present local name might possibly proceed from the ancient existence here, of what is called a Rocking-stone; but, to this idea, I have not learnt any tradition that can give support.
From p235 of The Miscellaneous Tracts of the Late William Withering. Vol 1. 1822. Online at Google Books.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
26th February 2007ce
Edited 9th April 2008ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment