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Battlestone (Humbleton)

Standing Stone / Menhir

<b>Battlestone (Humbleton)</b>Posted by fitzcoraldoImage © fitzcoraldo
Nearest Town:Coldstream (17km WNW)
OS Ref (GB):   NT969295 / Sheets: 74, 75
Latitude:55° 33' 32.55" N
Longitude:   2° 2' 56.95" W

Added by moey

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<b>Battlestone (Humbleton)</b>Posted by border-glider <b>Battlestone (Humbleton)</b>Posted by fitzcoraldo <b>Battlestone (Humbleton)</b>Posted by moey


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I love this stone. I used to pass it once a fortnight , either driving up to Scotland or in the opposite direction. It is the first/last megalith you encounter in England (if you don't get out of your car).
I passed this stoney chap yesterday and I must say he was looking splendid in the winter sunshine.
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
15th February 2003ce


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Humbledon, a small village, on an eminence, under which a great victory was obtained by Henry Lord Percy, and George Earl of March, over the Scotch under the command of Archibald Earl of Douglas, on Holyrood-day in the harvest, 3 K. Henry IV, 1402. Earl Douglas's forces consisted of 10,000 men. He possessed the hills, but Lord Percy, sirnamed Hotspur, cutting off his retreat to Scotland with the plunder he had acquired in Northumberland, he was forced to come to an engagement on the plain. With him were most of the barons, knights, and gentlemen of Fife and Lothian, who escaped by flight, 22d of June, the year before, from the battle of Nisbet, in the Merse, in which fell most of the Lothian-youth. A great part of them were either slain or taken prisoners. Among the latter were the Earls of Fife, Murrey, Angus, Atholl, and Monteith. Earl Douglas received five wounds, and lost an eye. Five hundred Scotchmen in the pursuit were drowned in the Tweed. The field of battle is called Red-Riggs, from the blood spilt on it. By the side of the road, under Humbledon-Bauks, is an upright pillar of whinstone erected in memory of it; in height, six feet, six inches, and a half; in diameter, twelve feet.
From v2 of 'The natural history and antiquities of Northumberland' by John Wallis (1769). It sounds so dreadful that it doesn't seem unreasonable to want to appropriate the stone as a memorial.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
22nd December 2011ce
Edited 22nd December 2011ce


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‘Drive By’ 2.8.14

Easily seen from the A697.
Approximately 2m high with the top covered in green lichen.

The field was in crop so I didn’t bother to stop to get a closer look.

Re-used prehistoric standing stone?
Posted by CARL
6th August 2014ce

MAGIC seems to back up Stan about this stone calling it a Bronze Age standing stone associated with a cist a couple of metres away. Chris Collyer Posted by Chris Collyer
6th September 2010ce
Edited 6th September 2010ce

"Here is a dear, a true industrious friend,
Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse.
Stain'd with the variation of each soil
Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours;
And he hath brought us smooth and welcome news.
The Earl of Douglas is discomfited:
Ten thousand bold Scots, two and twenty knights,
Balk'd in their own blood did Sir Walter see
On Holmedon's plains. Of prisoners, Hotspur took
Mordake the Earl of Fife, and eldest son
To beaten Douglas; and the Earl of Athol,
Of Murray, Angus, and Menteith:
And is not this an honourable spoil?
A gallant prize? ha, cousin, is it not? "

Henry IV part 1
William Shakespeare
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
4th August 2006ce

Here's what Stan Beckensall has to say about the stone.

"At Homildon Hill, below the Cheviots, on the way to Coldstream from Wooler is the site of a lesser battle in 1402 between the old enemies Percy and Douglas, traditionally marked by a standing stone to the east of the road that in fact marks the site of a prehistoric burial.
Shakespear begins the first part of Henry IV with this battle where the protagonists 'did spend a sad and bloody hour'."

Taken from
Northumberland, The Power of Place
Stan Beckensall
Tempus Books
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
9th April 2003ce
Edited 9th April 2003ce