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


Moll Walbee's Stone

Standing Stone / Menhir

This site is of disputed antiquity. If you have any information that could help clarify this site's authenticity, please post below or leave a post in the forum.
Also known as:
  • Llowes churchyard

Nearest Town:Hay On Wye (3km ENE)
OS Ref (GB):   SO192417 / Sheets: 148, 161
Latitude:52° 4' 2.25" N
Longitude:   3° 10' 43.96" W

Added by Rhiannon

Discussion Topics0 discussions
Start a topic

Show map   (inline Google Map)


Add fieldnotes Add fieldnotes
Visited 3.9.11

I was really looking forward to visiting this stone and was not disappointed.
When I arrived it was pouring with rain and I was pleased to find that the church was open.
As you go through the door the stone is immediately in front of you. It stands about 7 ft high and has a large cross carved on both sides of the stone – the entire length. One of the crosses is fairly plain whilst the other is ornate. Very impressive.
A small information board stands next to the stone. It states that the stone weighs 3.5 tonnes.

The church itself is pretty and worth a look around. It boasts a pre-Norman font which is certainly worth a look. I was able to pick up a leaflet and post card of the church and put the money in the honesty box. I do like honesty boxes, gives me hope that there are still good people about and nice places to live. An honesty box wouldn't last very long where I live!

On the way back to the car I noticed one of the houses facing the church was having its garden landscaped. What has been put up in the middle of the garden? Yup – a standing stone! This brought a smile to my face as I pointed it out to Karen. I am in the process of putting one up in my garden – I told her there were other 'like minded' people about!

Ancient or not, this is a stone definitely worth a visit. Access needless to say is very easy.
Posted by CARL
5th September 2011ce


Add folklore Add folklore
I admit upfront that this sounds like a red herring - a stone in a church with a cross on it?? But the Glasbury & District Community Council Website ( suggests that besides the church being very old (having been established by St Meilig around 540, and with a circular churchyard, for what anyone makes of that) say the "great stone 'Cross of St Meilig' was brought down to the churchyard from nearby Bryn-yr-Hydd Common in the 12th century, and moved into the church itself in 1956. If you look at the map the Common has remains of an Iron Age settlement. The general location would perhaps be great for a standing stone too, perched as it would have been over the wide Wye valley. It is nine feet tall. I will of course remove this post if people vehemently deny its ancientness!

From Marie Trevelyan's "Folk-lore and folk-stories of Wales" (1909):
A stone in Llowes Churchyard, in Radnorshire, has a story attached to it. Maud of Hay, the wife of William de Breos or Bruce, Lord of Brecknock and Abergavenny, was the daughter of Fitz-Walter, Earl of Hereford. The story goes that she built the castle of Hay in Breconshire in a single night, and without assistance. Owing to her occult powers, gigantic stature, and mysterious deeds, people thought she could accomplish any feat, however difficult. In the folk tales and nursery stories of Wales she is known as Mol Walbee, a corruption of her father's surname, Waleri. While carrying stones in her apron for the purpose of building Hay Castle, a "pebble" of about nine feet long fell into her shoe. At first she did not heed the discomfort, but by-and-by, finding it troublesome, she indignantly threw it over the Wye into Llowes Churchyard, in Radnorshire, about three miles away. It remains there at present. [Hoare, "Giraldus," vol. i., p 91]
There is another story explaining the stone, set in the 12th century, which was in The Herefordshire Magazine of 1907 -"Sir Ralph accused Lord Clifford of unjustly seizing the property of Colwyn castle, and challenged him to single combat in the churchyard of Llowes, where Lord Clifford was killed. Sir Ralph Baskerville obtained a pardon from the Pope, who was very angry that the churchyard had been desecrated. There is a curious upright stone in Llowes churchyard, which tradition points out as having been erected on the spot where Lord Clifford fell".
Found at the Baskerville Family History
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
1st March 2005ce
Edited 1st March 2005ce