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

Altar Stone

Oath Stone


The naming of the Altar Stone is due, apparently, to Inigo Jones, who made the first 'plan' of Stonehenge in 1620, although the real purpose of the stone is entirely unknown.

The Altar Stone, which is a fine-grained pale green sandstone, is not from the Prescelly Mountains of Pembrokeshire, the source of the of the blue stones, but from the Cosheston Beds (a division of the Old Red Sandstone of South Wales) which crop out on the shores of Milford Haven, further south in the same county.

No other stone composed of this rock is known at Stonehenge, though occasional fragments of it, very probably detached from the Altar Stone itself, have been found in the soil of the site.

Significantly, chips of an entirely different grey-green micaceous sandstone have also been collected on the site, and have been identified with a particular outcrop of the Cosheston Beds at Mill Bay on the south shore of Milford Haven, about 2.5 miles above the ferry at Pembroke Dock.
Chance Posted by Chance
21st February 2011ce

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