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| Webb Stone |
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|Description ||The Webb Stone
There is not one stone in Bradley (pronounced Braid-lee), not two, but three! In the parish church of All Saints (which is on the highest part of the village, and is thought likely to be a Christianised pagan site), there is a local guidebook, "A Chronicle of Bradeley - The Story of an English Village 1000-2000AD" by William & Anne Wilkinson. Despite its subtitle, page 5 does have entries on its monuments prior to 1000AD.
These stones are in fact "glacial erratics" deposited here by the thawing of the ice from the last Ice Age. The stone nearest the church, actually sits between two boards for the Red Lion pub (SJ 880179) which is also is probably the best parking spot, and unfortunately was not open when we visited with hungry tummies!); the next stone, (SJ880178) a little further down the lane to the south on the right, on the corner of the Old Post Office, and then following the road around a slight corner, The Webb Stone sits on the right, at the edge of a drive to some private houses. I read this grid ref just slighltly different as actually SJ880177, putting it on the west of the lane running N-S.
One local tradition makes the church predate the stones. The Devil stole the stones from the church so he could use them in the construction of hell; as he ran, the stones became heavier (they always do, when you're carrying something), and dropped them, and they rolled to their current positions, The Webb Stone being the farthest from the village centre.
More local folklore: 1) The Webb Stone is also called "The Wanderer", and additionally said to spin around sometimes (on its axis I assume). 2) At "The Bradeley Wakes" on 31st October, and before the arrival of All Saints' Day, village virgins would take offerings of cakes to the stone, and by the next morning they would know the name of their husbands to be, and 3) If the stone was moved, then local livestock and crops may well suffer - I wonder if making a primrose flower bed next to it counts?
When we looked at The Webb Stone itself, the side facing away from the road definetly maybe (!) has some sort of feature marked into it. I thought it could be a Celtic Cross, and my wife wondered if it might be a face of some sort!
Having reviewed the pictures, I am also inclined to think there is some sort of eroded feature on the side nearest the road.
I also spotted a 'suspicious' looking stone on the way to Bradley from Penkridge, peeking over a field boundary, on a junction - ref. approx. SJ885174.|
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