The Heel Stone is a single large block of sarsen stone standing within the Avenue outside the entrance of the Stonehenge earthwork in Wiltshire, England. In section it is sub-rectangular, with a minimum thickness of 2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in), rising to a tapered top about 4.7 metres (15 ft) high. Excavation has shown that a further 1.2 metres (3 ft 11 in) is buried in the ground. It is 77.4 metres (254 ft) from the centre of Stonehenge circle. It leans towards the southwest nearly 27 degrees from the vertical. The stone has an overall girth of 7.6 metres (25 ft) and weighs about 35 tons. It is surrounded by the Heelstone Ditch.
Myths and legends of the Devil striking a "Friar's Heel" with a stone resulted in its eccentric name, Heel Stone. Some[who?] claim "Friar's Heel" is a corruption of "Freyja's He-ol" or "Freyja Sul", from the Nordic goddess Freyja and (allegedly) the Welsh words for "way" and "Sunday" respectively. It is doubtful whether any prehistoric standing stone has experienced as many name changes and interpretations. Only in the past three decades have scientists used the name Heel Stone consistently.
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