Rudston Monolith, almost 26ft high, close to Rudston Parish Church of All Saints
|Region||East Riding of Yorkshire, England|
|Type||Standing stone (megalith)|
|Material||Moor Grit Conglomerate|
|Periods||late Neolithic/ early Bronze Age|
The Rudston Monolith at over 7.6 metres (25 ft) is the tallest megalith (standing stone) in the United Kingdom. It is situated in the churchyard in the village of Rudston (grid reference ) in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
The stone is slender, with two large flat faces. It is approximately 1.75 metres (5 ft 9 in) wide, and just under one metre thick. The top appears to have broken off the stone. If pointed, the stone would originally have stood about 8.5 metres (28 ft). In 1773, the stone was capped in lead, this was later removed, though the stone is currently capped. The weight is estimated at 40 tonnes. The monolith is made of gritstone. The nearest source (Cayton or Cornelian Bay) for the stone is 9.9 miles (16 km) north of the site, although it possible it was brought naturally to the site as a glacial erratic. The monument dates to the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age period. A possible fossilised dinosaur footprint is on one side of the stone.
There is one other smaller stone, of the same type, in the churchyard, which was once situated near the large stone. The Norman church was almost certainly intentionally built on a site which was already considered sacred, a practice which was common through the country, indeed the name of Rudston is thought to come from the Old English "Rood-stane", meaning "cross-stone", implying that a stone already venerated was adapted for Christian purposes.
Sir William Strickland is reported to have conducted an experiment in the late 18th century determining that there was as much of the stone below ground as is visible above. Strickland found many skulls during his dig and suggested they might have been sacrificial.
Royston stated that in 1861 during levelling of the church yard an additional 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) of the monolith was buried.
- Menhir de Champ-Dolent in Brittany
- Historic England. "Rudston Monolith (79482)". PastScape. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
- "The Megalithic Portal and Megalith Map: Rudston Monolith Standing Stone (Menhir)". Retrieved 2 March 2009.
- "Old Yorkshire" Vol 1, by William Smith, 1891
- "Rudston Monolith". Megalithic Portal.
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