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  • Writer's picturemysteriesofmercia

A Welsh Stone in England

I love to find solitary standing stones hidden away in remote areas. This seven feet tall megalith is known as Wern Derys and it looks out across the Herefordshire border into Wales. The name is Welsh and means "alder trees" so it appears the stone is named after the farmhouse that once stood nearby.

The lovely straight sides of the menhir show that it must have meant something special to the early Bronze Age folk that erected it but it's true function for them is anyone's guess today. These types of stones were deliberately placed here alone and are different to other solitary stones that were once parts of circles or earlier dolmens and now dot the landscape on their own.

Did this megalith serve a spiritual or religious function? Did it channel some kind of perceived energy? A waymarker? Or perhaps it was erected to mark the extent of a tribe's territory? In much later eras some of the stones were indeed used as "hundred stones" or "moot stones" to indicate boundaries and meeting points.

The old farm buildings are now guesthouses so if you'd like to stay the night in a beautiful country setting with a megalith standing guard - look up Wern Derys.

I take a trip around Herefordshire in my book The Mystery Of Mercia II, available now to order at

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