Edward Hunt's Forest of Dean Miscellany

Fact, Fiction and Fantasy

Queen Stone

Most inexplicable of all the mark stones are those with clean-cut grooves running from top to bottom of an upright or ‘long’ stone.

The Queen Stone in the horseshoe bend of the Wye near Symond’s Yat is a fine Herefordshire example. It measures about 7 feet 6 inches in height, 6 feet broad and 3 feet wide. The south-east face has five grooves, the north-west face three grooves, the north-east end two grooves, and the south-west end one only.

The grooves die out before reaching the ground, but appear to continue in an irregular way over the apex. They are all much alike in width – from 2 inches to 2½ inches, but vary in depth from 3 inches to 7 inches, being much deeper than they are wide. It seems quite impossible that they should result from any natural cause.

The top of the stone is irregularly corroded, and the probability of this being caused by fire presents itself. I tried the insertion of broomsticks in these grooves, but the tops projecting on opposite sides were too irregular for such a method to have been used for sighting.

There seems to be no legend attached to this stone, and it aligns with other points. Whether it is a sacrificial stone remains a surmise.

  The above text is from:
                "The Old Straight Track"
                by Alfred Watkins
                publisher: Methuen 1925

Edward Hunt