The Wergins Stone
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1005346
Date first listed: 20-Mar-1974
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: SO 52976 43982
Standing stone called the Wergins Stone 590m NNE of Hawthorn Farm.
Reasons for Designation
Standing stones are prehistoric ritual or ceremonial monuments with dates ranging from the Late Neolithic to the end of the Bronze Age for the few excavated examples. They comprise single or paired upright orthostatic slabs, ranging from under lm to over 6m high where still erect. They are often conspicuously sited and close to other contemporary monument classes. They can be accompanied by various features: many occur in or on the edge of round barrows, and where excavated, associated subsurface features have included stone cists, stone settings, and various pits and hollows filled in with earth containing human bone, cremations, charcoal, flints, pots and pot sherds. Similar deposits have been found in excavated sockets for standing stones, which range considerably in depth. Several standing stones also bear cup and ring marks. Standing stones may have functioned as markers for routeways, territories, graves, or meeting points, but their accompanying features show they also bore a ritual function and that they form one of several ritual monument classes of their period that often contain a deposit of cremation and domestic debris as an integral component. No national survey of standing stones has been undertaken, and estimates range from 50 to 250 extant examples, widely distributed throughout England but with concentrations in Cornwall, the North Yorkshire Moors, Cumbria, Derbyshire and the Cotswolds. Standing stones are important as nationally rare monuments, with a high longevity and demonstrating the diversity of ritual practices in the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age. Despite possible re-erection the standing stone called the Wergins Stone 590m NNE of Hawthorn Farm has a long tradition of reverence as indicated by the traditions which surround it and its probable re-use as a boundary stone, it will retain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its erection, function, longevity, social and territorial significance, ritual and possible funerary practices and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 21 May 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records. As such they do not yet have the full descriptions of their modernised counterparts available. Please contact us if you would like further information.
This monument includes a standing stone situated in the wide valley of the River Lugg on the floodplain to the west of the river. The stone survives as a single upright slab of un-worked stone measuring approximately 1.4m high, 0.6m wide and 0.3m thick, set into a socket stone of roughly pentagonal shape which measures 1.3m across and 0.3m high. Also known locally as the ‘Devil’s Stone’ there are many local tales and traditions including one recorded in 1641 which claimed the stones (there were originally two - one standing and one leaning) allegedly mysteriously moved 240 paces and had to be dragged back to their original positions by a team of nine oxen. This ‘movement’ might well have had more to do with its re-use as a boundary marking stone in this period.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: HE 186
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing