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8 Oct: The Stockton Stone

Hidden in plain sight, the Stockton Stone has watched over its corner of Norfolk for centuries since it was left behind by a frozen tide.

The Stockton Stone (Siofra's favourite). CREDIT: Siofra Connor

The rectangular glacial erratic can be found in a patch of grass on the west side of the Beccles to Norwich A146 road and it guards a curse that condemns anyone that moves it to death or misfortune.

First mentioned in the 1662 Town Books of Stockton, there is a suggestion that this old watchman was once the meeting place of the Clavering Hundred or where an Anglo Saxon land tax called the Danegeld was handed over.

Alfred Watkins, in The Old Straight Track, published in 1925, believed the Stockton Stone was one of a network of straight alignments which followed a ley line that also includes the nearby Harleston Stone. When the stone was moved during roadworks in the 1930s – travelling 14ft from its original resting place - Major S.E Glendenning of the Norfolk Archaeological Society admitted it had been “regarded locally with some misgiving”.

Suffolk Record Office has a document which adds weight to the locals’ fears: “Only a few years ago, it [the stone] was moved during work to straighten out the road and curiously enough, so I gather, one of the workmen involved actually collapsed and died.” Votive offerings can often be found at Stockton’s stone, appeasements, perhaps for the upheaval it underwent 90 years ago.


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