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Threestone Burn

Stone Circle

<b>Threestone Burn</b>Posted by HobImage © Mr Tate
Also known as:
  • Ilderton Stone Circle
  • Three Stone Burn
  • Threestoneburn

Nearest Town:Alnwick (22km E)
OS Ref (GB):   NT975205 / Sheet: 75
Latitude:55° 28' 41.41" N
Longitude:   2° 2' 22.41" W

Added by moey

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Plan to fell North Forest

Plans are afoot to fell the plantation around the circle over a period of 3 years. A decision is expected early in 2009. More details can be found on the Journal's website, here.
Hob Posted by Hob
7th December 2008ce
Edited 7th December 2008ce

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Photographs:<b>Threestone Burn</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Threestone Burn</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Threestone Burn</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Threestone Burn</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Threestone Burn</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Threestone Burn</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Threestone Burn</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Threestone Burn</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Threestone Burn</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Threestone Burn</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Threestone Burn</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Threestone Burn</b>Posted by tiompan <b>Threestone Burn</b>Posted by tiompan <b>Threestone Burn</b>Posted by moey Maps / Plans / Diagrams:<b>Threestone Burn</b>Posted by Hob


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Came across this stone whilst on walk over the Cheviot and Hedgehope Hill, it's actually a couple of miles North of the circle at 98199 22452. Looks like a contender to me and is not part of a dyke etc. tiompan Posted by tiompan
1st June 2004ce
Edited 1st June 2004ce

There are two tracks to threestone burn, the one we chose had us park at South Middleton and walk the three miles to the circle over bridleways and pathways.

To the left and right on the route there is a cairn and a remains of a fort. Looking backward on the way, you can see across to Old Bewick.

To reach the Circle you must walk through the garden of Threestone Burn House, so tread politely (no dogs seen or heard) cross the stream and follow the path towards the woods, the circle is on the left as you reach the woodland.

Overgrown in its surroundings, Burle states one of the stones is 5ft 6, but I dispute that. The northern end of the circle is closest to being intact, other stones are fallen or removed.

The modern landscape is blocked by plantations, but its proximity to Cheviot & Harthope suggest worship of the mother landscape.

Access is denied until June 2002 due to woodland operations
moey Posted by moey
16th January 2002ce


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Stoney folklore:
On the top of "Hedgehope," the round-headed hill that is neighbour to Cheviot, there is a hollow in an incised stone, known as the "Bluidy Trough," on account of the colour given to the water by the orange-red moss or lichen covering the stone. It is lucky to make a wish here, and drop in a crooked pin - a great number can be seen clearly, lying in the bottom of the hollow, in the water.

Contributed by Mr. T--., Belford, Northumberland, estate agent.
From 'County Folk-lore' volume 4, Northumberland, by M C Balfour and N W Thomas (1904).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
10th June 2009ce
Edited 1st July 2018ce

How many stones are there at threestone burn? There aren't three. There are supposed to be 16 of these pink granite stones, according to English Heritage's records. But ... the circle
consisted once, tradition rumoured, of 12 stones, but only 11 of them were visible, and it was foretold that whenever the 12th was found, a fortune in money would reward the lucky discoverer. The present worthy tenant, at the head of a company of hay-makers, whose work in the adjacent haining had been interrupted by a shower, instituted a search after the missing pillar, and lo! instead of twelve there were thirteen stones. Thirteen is always an unlucky number, so his painstaking was unremunerated. Perhaps he was not aware that Druid money is only bestowed by reversion in the world to come.
From the Folklore Society's publishing of the Denham Tracts, v2.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
10th September 2003ce
Edited 1st February 2010ce


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To add to Moey's observations.
Here the ring is situated at the confluence of two streams, is overlooked by the summit some 0.5kms to the north-west of Tathey Crags, and the greater eminence of Hedgehope Hill to the west-south-west, these two hills framing The Cheviot which lies due west of the circle. Threestoneburn again sees the occurrence of four elements in direct conjunction.
The long cairn on Dod Hill, lying roughly 1km to the east of the Threestoneburn circle, is of some interest in itself and may have added to the importance of the general location. The cairn is in a prominent location as seen from the main route to the circle, and has been constructed to lie across the contours with it's broad terminal aligned on the summit of Dod Hill. It is visible on the horizon for part of the journey to the stone circle. This suggests that it may have been deliberately focused upon the hill top, possibly producing a link between the symbolism of the topography with the remains of the ancestors.
Peter Topping
Different Realities: the Neolithic in the Northumberland Cheviots.
Oxbow Monograph 86
Oxbow Books 1997
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
2nd June 2004ce
Edited 4th June 2004ce