Monday, 4 November 2013




The  Rudston  Monolith


Close to the east end of the parish church of All Saints at Rudston near Bridlington in East Yorkshire is Rudston Monolith  said to be the tallest of all Britain’s standing stones.  This huge, roughly cut, block of grit-stone, measures some 50 feet, with half of it above and half  below the ground, with a girth of some 16 feet.

So what is it doing at this location?  Local tradition says that the devil, angered by the building of a monument to his adversary, hurled this stone javelin at the church.  By divine intervention his aim was deflected and the stone landed in its present position deeply embedded in the ground.

On the other hand it may have been left there by glacial action, it certainly was not local but is thought to have originated several miles away on the coast at Cayton Bay near Scarborough.  Another theory is that it was erected by Bronze Age men for some ritualistic purpose, being later adapted by early Christians as a cross or ruud,  thus giving the village its name.


The Ruud Stone





The Barmby Wart Stone


Another curious standing stone can be seen opposite the church porch at Barmby Moor near Pocklington in East Yorkshire.  Just under five feet in height this stone is known locally as ‘The Wart Stone’.  Rain water sometimes gathers on the top of the stone and local legend has it that this water is a certain cure for warts.  Although very little is known about the stone, it would seem to be a prehistoric monolith, probably of some religious or Pagan significance.
The Wart Stone
Hawksworth Church
This fine church at Hawksworth is on the 'Wordsworth' trail in the lake District - he went to school in the village and worshipped in this church. Although now stripped of its outside white paint, it is the church of which the poet wrote: 'I saw the snow-white church upon her hill, Sit like a throned lady sending out, A gracious look all over her domain'.
An unusual survivor can be seen outside the east wall of the church - its is a long stone bench known as 'Church End' where parishioners sat after services to hear public notices and became a general meeting place for the villager's. Quite a rarity.
The bagpiper and Old Tristram
A fine gargoyle in the shape of a bagpiper can be seen on the side of the Parish Church of St John the Baptist in Halifax.

The bagpiper
Inside the church is a strage old alms box which is the life size image of an old man with a long beard and wearing a long coat and breeches.  Known as Old Tristram, it is said to portray a beggar who was familiar on the streets of the town in the 17th century.
Old Tristram
Peter’s Pence Lectern
A 15th century lectern in the church of St John  The Evangelist at Oxborough in Norfolk is one of some fifty Peter’s Pence Lectern’s  in the country.  They were so called because they were used to collect a tax of one penny per household imposed by King Offa in AD787.  The money, which was sent to Rome, was put in a slot in the beak and recovered from a second slot in the tail

  The church was built during the 14th century, replacing the much smaller church of St Mary Magdalen, the ruin > LinkExternal link of which is situated about one kilometre to the south-west, and the stone doorways in the north porch and the west window of the north aisle may have come from this older church. In 1948 the tower and spire collapsed and fell into the church below > LinkExternal link leaving only the chancel and the Bedingford chapel - so named after the Lords of the Manor - intact. The chapel was built in the 15th century in about 1500 and houses rare terracotta monuments > LinkExternal link which many consider to be the best in all of England.
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Evelyn Simak and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Oxborough Church
I am grateful to Evelyn Simak for the use of this Geograph photograph and text.

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