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St Austin's Stone

Natural Rock Feature


Drewton, a neighbouring village, marks, as it is said, the site of Druid's town, where a stone about twelve feet in height yet standing was so much venerated by the natives, that Augustine stood upon it to preach, and erected a cross thereupon that the worshipper might learn to associate it with a purer faith. It is still known as Austin's Stone.
From p34 of 'A month in Yorkshire' by Walter White (1854). Well Walter, I don't think you saw it yourself, because frankly this is a natural stone and to say it's twelve feet in height is slightly misleading. But it's interestingly placed, right at the top of Austin's Dale, a narrow valley, which has springs in it that lead into the Drewton Beck. Augustine would have to have shouted.
(I know this is a bit dodgy - part christianised site, part natural - wholly speculative for tma).

Some more, gleaned from the extensive folklore bibliography by Jeremy Harte ( )
1986iv Philip Heselton, 'St. Austin's Stone', Northern Earth Mysteries 31: 10-12 -

St. Austins Stone near South Cave is a rock outcrop where Saint Augustine is said to have made converts, baptising them in a nearby well. The site is used for church services. Every seven years, part of the stone falls away, but it always grows again. Locations:- Yorkshire (East Riding).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
20th September 2007ce
Edited 20th September 2007ce

Comments (1)

St Augustine (there were 2; St A of Hippo and St A of Canterbury) never came to Yorkshire as far as we know, but the stone may have been a local Saxon meeting site (important meetings were held out of doors) and so been used for preaching when Christianity was being introduced. Posted by mugwort
20th August 2010ce
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