The Falling Stone
On a Sunday in December 1795, a stone weighing 56 pounds fell from the atmosphere and hit the earth a few hundred yards from Wold Cottage just on the outskirts of the tiny
in village of Wold Newton East
Yorkshire. It caused an indenture about a yard across and 19
The meteorite is now preserved in the Natural History Museum in
A stone pillar marks the exact spot and an inscription tells the story:
‘Here on this spot
December 13th 1795, fell from the atmosphere
An extraordinary stone!
In breadth 28 inches. In length 30 inches.
And the weight of which was fifty-six pounds!
This column erected by
The Stone of
The Stone of Scone, also known as the Stone of Destiny or Coronation Stone, is an oblong block of red sandstone 26” x 16” x 10 1/2” with 2 iron rings on the top face for ease of transportation. Historically it was kept at Scone Abbey near
in Perth and used for centuries as
the coronation seat for Scottish Monarchs, certainly since the time of Kenneth
McAlpin in 847. Tradition has it that
the stone was originally Jacob’s pillow stone and after being transported to Scotland , it was
probably used as a travelling altar by St Columba before ending up at Ireland Scone.
In 1296, Edward 1 removed the stone to Westminster Abbey where it was fitted to St Edward’s coronation chair and used in coronations since that time.
In 1950, four Scottish students removed the stone and subsequently returned it to
in a damaged condition. It was repaired
and in 1951 was traced the Arbroath Abbey in Scotland and returned to Scotland . Westminster
In 1996, the British Government decided that the stone should be kept in
when not required for coronations and it was transported to Scotland
where it is now on display with the rest of the Scottish regalia. Edinburgh Castle
A replica of the stone is on display on Moot Hill at
. Scone Palace
In the 17th century fear of spreading the plague was very real and many precautions were taken to stop the spread of this horrific disease. Quite often trades people would actually refuse to enter a community where there was any suspicion of the plague being present, and would leave goods on the outskirts. Many places had a plaque stone near the boundary, which had a hollow on top containing vinegar. Local people left money in the vinegar as payment for goods, to prevent any contamination. A good example of such a stone can be seen on the eastern outskirts of Ackworth near
in Wakefield West Yorkshire.
Ackworth plague stone
Another one is preserved at the south
east end of Devil’s Bridge at Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria. An inscription
thereon reads : ‘Fear God Honor the King 1633.’
In the middles ages penalties for crime were very severe and people were executed for relatively minor offences, often without any fair trial. The right to sanctuary in the church was a sure way for fugitives to prove their innocence and many churches were granted sanctity rights. Some sanctuary towns had sanctuary crosses at their boundaries whilst many churches had a sanctuary ring on their door. Once the fugitive reached the sanctity of a particular church they were required to surrender any weapons and to swear an oath to the church. The fugitive could then remain in that sanctity for a set period of time during the church authorities would examine the case in an effort to resolve it. The right to sanctuary was curtailed by Henry V111 and was abolished completely by James 1.
The tiny City of Ripon was granted a charter in 886 by King Alfred the Great and became a sanctuary town known as The Liberty of Ripon. In the 13th century there were five Sanctuary Crosses around the town, each one placed just 1 mile from the cathedral. The last remaining of these crosses, Sharow Cross, can be seen at the junction of Sharow Lane and Dishforth Road in the village of Sharow just one mile from the cathedral, marking the southern limits of the sanctuary. This cross is now in the care of the National Trust.
The Ell Stone
Although this stone is inscribed St Michael’s Well it is not over the well.