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

Hawk Stone

Standing Stone / Menhir


In local folklore the Hawk Stone formed an integral part of a stone circle here, but there is little known evidence to substantiate this. In Thorn Graves' (1980) dowsing experiments at the Rollright circle, he found what he described as an 'overground' linking the Circle to the Hawk Stone, but no other connecting sites are known along this line. Interestingly one legend surrounding the monolith tells how this monolith was thrown, or dragged, across the land by a old witch or hag, though we are not told from where- a motif found in connection with spirit lines across the country.

In Corbett's History of Spelsbury (1962) the author referenced some of the folklore spoken of the holed Hawk Stone by one Mr Caleb Lainchbury who said the cleft at the top of the Hawk Stone at Dean was supposed to have been made by the chains of the witches who were tied to it and burnt. As witches seem to have been extremely rare in Oxfordshire it cannot have been a very common practise to burn them at Dean; but there may have been some kind of fire ceremonies near the stone. In name, Hawk stone may come from a fancied resemblence to a Hawk, or because there very often are hawks hovering over those upland fields: or it may simply be a corruption of 'Hoar' meaning old.

In pagan Celtic Britain hawks played a not inconsiderable part in their shamanic lore and,according to Ross [1967] were "malevolent birds". This evidently important and visually impressive monolith plays a substantial part in an incredibly precise alignment (ley) running roughly east-west across the landscape.
faerygirl Posted by faerygirl
1st June 2010ce
Edited 12th July 2010ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment