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Guest Contribution


Video Archive:  King Arthur’s Stone – a Neolithic Burial Mound in the Golden Valley

Place name:

Golden Valley




Video Archive clip by Pat Lowinger. The author’s description is as follows:

Discovering Ancient History with Pat Lowinger

Arthur's Stone is a Neolithic tomb chamber dated to 3750-3250 BCE. In the summer of 2021, additional excavation at the site by Dr. Julian Thomas (University of Manchester) revealed the site was much more extensive than originally believed.

Legend and local folklore hints that King Arthur has a mythical connection with Arthur's Stone, the neolithic tomb or cromlech sitting atop the hill between Bredwardine and Dorstone. The impressive elongate stone table measures 5.8m x 3.5m (19ft x 11ft 4") and although it does not qualify geometrically as a Round Table, there are many legends associated with it as a meeting place for Kings and Knights, with King Arthur supposedly having fought a king here, broken his back and buried him beneath the stones. More prosaically it is known to have been a burial place for the people of the region 5,000 years ago, and is in fact a chambered tomb which has lost its earth mound covering. It is also at the northern end of one of the earliest-reported ley-lines with the sacred mountain of Skirrid Fawr visible at the other end, fifteen miles due south. Alfred Watkins' association with Bredwardine comes from his interest in Arthur's Stone as a point on a ley-line reportedly connecting Snodhill Castle, Urishay Castle, Longtown Castle, Old Castle, Hatterall Camp and Skirrid Fawr. Alfred (1855-1935) was born in Hereford and travelled widely in the county as he developed his various interests which included photographic processes and equipment, and archaeology. He believed that ancient trackways, trading routes and burial paths established alignments which he called ley lines, which might be marked by standing stones or other features of the landscape. His theory was supported by some and ridiculed by others, but his classic 1925 book, "The Old Straight Track" is still in print


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