Stone, Whithorn Priory, Whithorn.
Just inside the gate of the walled graveyard of Whithorn Priory
stands a single large earth-fast boulder of weathered granite.
The stone stands about 0.40m high and slightly larger in length
and breadth. However, the stone may be much taller due to soil build up over the centuries, something which can
also be seen elsewhere on the site.
Whithorn Priory is well signposted within the village of
Whithorn. The stone is to the left just inside the main iron
gates leading into the graveyard.
Along streets in Whithorn.
I noticed this stone as soon as I walked into the graveyard at
Whithorn Priory. It just seemed so obviously out of place for
such a well known and extensively archaeologically researched
site. My first thought was that it was simply a large boulder
used as a gate stop but it does not quite fit this theory, being
too far away from the swing of the gate. As I was part of the
tour group visiting the priory I asked the guide about that
stone but she was unable to throw any light on the matter, in
fact, she had not even noticed the stone before.
If the stone is not simply a recent part of the landscaping
of the area, what is it? Excavations have revealed that at least
one standing stone once existed at this site during the very
earliest periods of its history and this may have been one of
the reasons for choosing the site in the first place, as many
so-called pagan sites are known to have been taken over and
"Christianised". It is known that the site has been in
use for 1300 years and if the stone is actually ancient, could
it possibly be the sole remnant of a stone setting or stone
As with many surviving ancient stones, the question
that always comes to my mind is why it has survived in the first
place. If it is not a relic of a lost ancient monument what is
it? Is it a left-over from earlier landscaping or garden works?
Perhaps we shall never know.