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

Stanford Bishop

Standing Stone / Menhir


"Stanford Bishop was probably named after the 'stone ford' at Jumpers Hole on the ancient trackway through the parish. Jumpers Hole in turn was named after a curious stone in the bed of the stream there, and the legend attached to it.

The stone at Jumpers Hole is on the north-west side of the crossing place, and it bears three very clear horseshoe-shaped dents, each about 7" long, and an oval hollow. The legend is that a witch stole a loaf of bread and fled on horseback*. As the horse jumped the brook, the loaf fell onto a stone; the impressions of the loaf and horse's feet are miraculously preserved in the stone.

One version of the tale is that the bread was stolen from Stanford Bishop: presumably from the church, hence the miracle. Another says that the witch went to a cottage at the Dovehills to beg a loaf; when the cottager refused she stole the loaf, and cursed both the farm and (oddly) the gate near the brook"

As told in "Stone Spotting in Herefordshire" - Jonathan Sant (2000) Moondial.

*What self-respecting witch uses a horse. Surely a broomstick or simply disappearing in a flash of smoke would be more suitable if wanting to make a quick exit?
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
21st January 2009ce
Edited 21st January 2009ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment