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Thor Stone

Standing Stone, Oxfordshire

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View High Res ImagesThe 'cruel' Thorstone at Taston. Photo Celia Haddon

OS Map: OL45
The Cotswolds
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OS Map ref: SP359220 View local map for SP359220
Nearest town: Witney View map of Witney
Nearest village: Taston View map of Taston

An impressive seven-foot tall standing stone, told in local folklore to have been a thunderbolt cast down from the skies by Thor, God of storms, according to Corbett (1962), and first recorded in the late thirteenth century in the survey of the Chadlington hundred. The name Thor Stone is recorded in the etymology of the name Taston dated 1278 CE as Thorstan. Very close by is an old stone cross, placed there - it is said - to abate the evil influences that were supposed to come from this truly ancient standing stone.

This piece of folklore is simply one laid down by the Church, which portrayed most things it did not under- stand, or sought to repress, as being the work of Satan. This is of course utter rubbish! Between these two old monuments was once an aged elm tree which, says Pumphrey [1990], was a meeting place of the local villagers in times gone by. Whether this implies the Thor Stone to have been a moot spot is difficult to tell, although the erection of the cross would seem to add weight to this supposition.

Access: Standing against the garden wall close by the roadside, next to Thorstone Cottage. See above for map links

Text from The Old Stones of Rollright and District by Paul Bennett & Tom Wilson

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