Friday, November 25, 2011

Arthur's Stone Nr. Dorstone, Herefordshire

 Arthur's Stone

Just four miles from the Welsh border, between the B4348 and the B4352, on a beautiful hill near Dorstone in Herefordshire, stands Arthur's Stone. We were privileged to have friends who live nearby take us there (just a short drive from their house).

 Arthur's Stone, another view

 From Authur's Stone, a view of the Golden Valley

From the nearby sign, above:

'Arthur's Stone is a multi-chambered tomb of the neolithic period dating from between about 3700 and 2700 BC. (This is conjecture, and may not have been quite that long ago.)*

Neolithic people were the first inhabitants of Britain to farm the land and make pottery, but they had not yet discovered the use of metal. (Although there had been others who had worked with metals prior to that time, so it's possible that those skills had simply not yet migrated to Britain.)* They lived in small communities, perhaps numbering no more than 25-100 people.

One of their settlements has been discovered on Dorstone Hill, just to the southeast of here, where flint tools, stone axes and pottery have been found.

Chambered tombs were used to bury the dead from such communities. They were communal burial vaults often used over several generations. A tomb might contain the remains of anything from one or two to more than a hundred individuals - accompanied by simple grave goods such as pots, stone beads and flint arrowheads.

The tombs were important to their builders. With only very simple tools the raising of the massive roof slab, Arthur's Stone was a considerable feat.

The mound which once covered the tomb has now largely eroded away, and many of the stones were removed in the 19th century. The great roof stone has partly collapsed.

According to folklore, Arthur's Stone marks the spot of one of King Arthur's battles, but this legend dates from thousands of years after the real builders of the tomb had been forgotten.'

but long before Clive Owen became King Arthur (I did like him much better as a blind detective.)


*Italicized comments are mine and are not copied from the sign near Arthur's Stone.

That area of England seems untouched by the hustle and bustle of London, far away from the crowds and noise. It's a beautiful part of England to which I'd love to return!

I hope you all are having a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

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Unknown said...

lol.. I like how you slipped Clive Owens in there!! hehehe... and I agree, he did make a better blind detective than a King Arthur, but he's not bad to look at so it makes it ok!!
Love the photos... thanks, as always, for sharing!

Marti said...

Thanks for the tour. That area is so beautiful--my dad's people once lived there.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Just look at that sky! And, of course, I love all that green. Another place to add to my list of must-see-next-time!

Heide at ApronHistory said...

Nice post! I had never heard of Arthur's Stone before.

Stacy said...

What beautiful scenery! Thank you for sharing and for telling us the history. Very interesting.

Empty Nester said...

I've learned so much history from these posts! I hope you keep them coming! It's the next best thing to actually being there!

Wishing you safe travels back from Texas!

Midwest to Midlands said...

Hope you are having a good time in Texas and enjoying your weekend. How much time have you spent in England, you sure seemed to have gotten around? I like the quieter areas of the country too, but London is fun for day trips. Take care!

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Ruth Kelly said...

I've been to Dorstone, the Golden Valley, Orcup and Garway Hill - my 3g grandfather Samuel Eames lived in Orcup, on Garway Hill and in the Golden Valley becoming to America. We were unable to see Arthur's stone because of the foot and mouth disease being rampant while we were there. I am so glad you took photos to show us. Thanks.

Unknown said...

Absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! Thanks for sharing!!! Travel safe!

Hugs, Aimee from

Tiffanee said...

Interesting and oh so beautiful!

Denise said...

Wow, thanks for sharing.

George The Lad said...

Oh this is really interesting, and not that far from where we live, might take a visit next year, thanks for sharing, and thanks for your birthday wishes and all of you joining in my birthday steps :)
Have a good Week
See Yea George xxx

laurie said...

Very interesting..I have never heard of this before.


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