We had barely got in the car than we were out of it again. Just a mile or two down the road to a tiny village and she was looking for somewhere to park. Now, I have to say that the next stone they took me to was fairly underwhelming at face value, for all it is seven feet tall. Someone built their garden wall to sort of include it, so you can only see the part that faces out onto the road and you can’t get to sniff it properly or anything. It seems quite a sad stone… unloved and unwanted somehow, yet it is still standing after five thousand years… and that really is quite strange, when you think about it.
It stands in the village of Taston, which takes its name from Thor’s Stone. Legend has it that the stone was a thunderbolt cast down by the god, although it must predate Thor’s ‘arrival’ in Britain by millennia. She said it might have been part of a larger monument, like a burial chamber or circle, of which the other stones have long since gone missing.
Yet others say that the old stones are still there… but now form part of a rather odd stepped ‘cross’, just a few yards away. The cross was erected so close to the standing stone, say the tales, to abate its evil influence. Most ancient and therefore pagan monuments were seen as evil by the church… who built their chapels on ancient sites, re-shaped ancient stones to make their crosses and even built stone circles and menhirs into the wall of their churches.
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