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The Great Stone of Fourstones

The Great Stone of Fourstones

The Great Stone of Fourstones, or the "Big Stone" as it is known locally, is a glacial deposit on the moorlands of Tatham Fells, situated near Bentham in the District of Craven, and 10 metres from the county border with Lancashire.

 

The name suggests that there were once four stones, but now there is only one. The other three were possibly broken up for scythe sharpening stones, or building stone, centuries ago.  Large stones such as this were useful as boundary markers in the open countryside, and this one was used as a boundary marker for the Lancashire-Yorkshire boundary between Tatham and Bentham parishes.

 

A local myth tells of how the stone was dropped by the devil, on his way to build Devil's Bridge at nearby Kirkby Lonsdale.  The stone has 15 steps carved into the side of it to allow access to the top.  It is not known when they were carved, but they are well worn from years of use.