Arthur’s Stone - History and Facts | History Hit

Arthur’s Stone

Dorstone, England, United Kingdom

Arthur’s Stone is a mysterious burial chamber in Herefordshire.

Lily Johnson

09 Mar 2021
Image Credit: UKgeofan at English Wikipedia / CC

About Arthur’s Stone

Arthur’s Stone is a tomb in Herefordshire dating back to the Neolithic era marked by a collection of large stones. Though little is known about the stones, the legend that surrounds them is one that continues to enthral visitors well into the present day.

Arthur’s Stone history

Dating back to the Neolithic period, Arthur’s Stone was constructed as a burial tomb over 5000 years ago. Once covered by an earthen mound, today the tomb consists only of the inner structure following its erosion over time. A vast capstone covers nine upright stones to make up the chamber, which would have been accessed via the side of the mound. An isolated stone serves as a false entrance, perhaps serving as a focus for ceremonies.

Rituals of the ancestors or seasonal gatherings perhaps also took place here, with the site unlikely to have solely served as a tomb. As the site has never been excavated however, much intrigue still surround its real use.

Since before the 13th century, the site has been linked to the legendary figure King Arthur. Reportedly, it was at this site that Arthur defeated a giant who, upon falling dead, left an imprint of his elbow on one of the stones still seen today.

Arthur’s Stone today

Today Arthur’s Stone is protected by English Heritage, and is set on a grassy area off Arthur’s Stone Lane. Its curious structure provides an intriguing visit, with the huge capstone now cracked in half and partly collapsed.

Many draw comparisons between the stones and the altar on which Aslan is sacrificed in C.S. Lewis’ Narnia, the writer being highly inspired by the surrounding Golden Valley area. The site is also considered a northerly outlier of the Severn-Cotswold tomb Group that features a number of chambered tombs in the nearby area, similar to Arthur’s Stone.

The atmospheric site and its stunning surroundings allow for a picturesque walk, with a glimpse into some of Britain’s oldest history.

Getting to Arthur’s Stone

Arthur’s Stone is located in village of Dorstone, Herefordshire. Parking is available in Dorstone, a 35-minute walk to the site following the B4348 road north, before turning left down Arthur’s Stone Lane. Bus services stop in Dorstone village at Crossway Corner, and the closest train station is Hereford, 14 miles away.

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