Europe: Megalits / Rudston Monolith

Rudston Monolith B.jpg
PHOTO: Jonathan Fry 54 5'38.00" 019'21.19"

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The Rudston monolith is the largest standing stone in Britain, standing nearly 8 metres high and weighing a massive 26 tons. This giant block of gritstone was quarried 10 miles away at Cayton Bay, perhaps sometime before 2000BC. The churchyard it stands in is of course some 3000 years younger although the Christianisation of this raised site probably took place much earlier. The top of the stone has been weathered and eroded into a fluted peak similar to the stones of the Devil's Arrows, and a lead cap has been added to try to preserve it, an ironic touch, as it was here long before the church, and will probably remain long after the church has gone. In the corner of the churchyard is a much smaller standing stone and also the remains of a double cist that was removed from a nearby barrow on Rudston Beacon by the antiquarian Canon Greenwell in the late 19th century. The whole of the Gypsey Race landscape was obviously important in prehistoric times and has a rich selection of sites, most of which have been destroyed or badly damaged by ploughing, including many round barrows, several long barrows, four cursuses and at least one henge. It continued to retain its importance into the historic period - a major Roman villa was discovered near to Rudston.


 

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