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Arthur's Stone, Burial Chamber, Dorstone

SMR Number
: 1528
Grid Reference
: SO 3189 4312
Parish
: DORSTONE, HEREFORDSHIRE

A Neolithic chambered tomb probably dating to the period 3400-2400 BC. It is oval in shape and about 22m in length. Originally it would have been covered with an earth mound but this has eroded away and what remains is the stone infrastructure. There is a burial chamber and narrow entrance passage. In 1900 a leaning stone was replaced. When this was done a "trilithon" (two stones supporting another) was recorded, this is not present today. Two south-eastern slabs may be the remains of the trilithon. Another large stone in the ditch across the road may be part of the same monument. Full schedule description. (1)
Antiquarian observations (2-12)
One of the most northerly of the chambered tombs of the Cotswold-Severn Group and one of five tombs that dominate the Neolithic landscape of the north reaches of the Golden Valley in Herefordshire. May have been trapezoidal in form and extended across the lane. Stones to the east may have been part of the monument. Full description and interpretation. (13)
Observations on Arthur's Stone by Alfred Watkins. (15)
Chris Musson's 2003 colour slide aerial photograph catalogue. (16) (17) (18)
A programme of archaeological work carried out during repairs to the perimeter fence identified a 0previously unknown wall. The wall was exposed by the excavation of a fence post-hole on the southeast side of the mound. It appears to be part of an early, if not original phase of the construction of the monument. The geophysical survey indicates that there may have been two distinct strata used in the construction of the monument. (19)
In July 2006, an archaeological evaluation was undertaken in a field immediately north of Arthur's Stone and Arthur's Stone Lane. This involved survey and trial trenching. In situ cairn material was discovered which demonstrates conclusively that the surviving passage and chamber were constructed within a long mound, and that Arthur's Stone is similar in architecture to other burial/ritual monuments within the Black Mountains group. (20)
In 2011, Herefordshire Archaeology commisioned Dr Tim Young of GeoArch (1) and Adam Stanford of Aerial-Cam (2) to undertake a Geophysical Survey and a Photogrammetric Survey, respectfully, of King Arthur's Stone, Dorstone. The geophysical survey involved both resistivity and magnetometry although the later results were negative due to disturbance. The photogrammetric survey was done from multiple fixes stations from a polecam. The surveys provided little evidence for the original form of the mound. (21)(22)

Monument Type(s)

  1. LONG BARROW (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  2. HAMMER (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  3. CHAMBERED TOMB (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)

Associated Files

Sources and Further Reading

  1. <5> SHE10534 - Bibliographic reference: Children, G and Nash, G. 1995. Prehistoric Sites in Herefordshire. Logaston. pp. 23-25.
  2. <7> SHE10741 - Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1963. Herefordshire. The Buildings of England. p.116.
  3. <9> SHE11181 - Bibliographic reference: Portman. Sacred stones & trees of Hay. p.5.
  4. <4> SHE11187 - Bibliographic reference: Powell, T G E et al. 1969. Megalithic Enquiries in the West of Britain. Liverpool University Press. pp. 23, 66, 288.
  5. <10> SHE12126 - Bibliographic reference: Salmon, N. 1728. A New Survey of England.
  6. <8> SHE12660 - Bibliographic reference: Stanford, S C. 1991. The Archaeology of the Welsh Marches. Second (revised) edition. pp.19-20.
  7. <13> SHE15834 - Article in serial: Nash, George. 2000. A Neolithic Monument in Interpretative Transition: A re-evaluation of Arthur's Stone, Dorstone, Herefordshire (SO 3189 4312). Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club. 50(1). L. Pages 37-50.
  8. <14> SHE16067 - Article in serial: Grinsell, L.V.. 1993. Herefordshire Barrows. Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club. XLVII 1993 Part III. 299-317.
  9. <15> SHE16467 - Article in serial: Watkins, Alfred. 1928. Arthur's Stone. Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club. 1928. 149-151. 1928. Pages 149-151.
  10. <16> SHE17579 - Aerial Photograph: Musson, C R. 30/08/2003. 03-C-1242. Herefordshire Aerial Archaeological Survey 2003. Oblique. Colour Slide.
  11. <17> SHE17580 - Aerial Photograph: Musson, C R. 30/08/2003. 03-C-1244. Herefordshire Aerial Archaeological Survey 2003. Oblique. Colour Slide.
  12. <18> SHE17581 - Aerial Photograph: Musson, C R. 30/08/2003. 03-C-1245. Herefordshire Aerial Archaeological Survey 2003. Oblique. Colour Slide.
  13. <12> SHE18559 - Article in serial: Moore, H Cecil. 1901. Arthur's Stone, Dorstone. Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club, 1901. 194-99.
  14. <19> SHE18674 - Unpublished Report: Boucher, Andy and Rouse, Dale. 2011. Arthur's Stone (Neolithic Burial Chamber), Dorstone, Herefordshire. Headland Archaeology Ltd. HAS878.
  15. <20> SHE18789 - Article in serial: Nash, George H.. 2008. Long or round?: evaluation programme and results at the Neolithic chambered monument of Arthur's Stone, Herefordshire. Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club. 56, 2008. 59-72.
  16. <6> SHE2159 - Bibliographic reference: Stanford, S C (ed.). 1976. Guide to Prehistoric and Roman Sites in Herefordshire. Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club Archaeological Research Section. Pages 5-6.
  17. <21> SHE23668 - Unpublished Report: Rowe, Philip R,. 2006. Geophysical Survey Report for Arthur's Stone. ROWE 06/02.
  18. <21> SHE23911 - Unpublished Report: Young, T. 2011. Resistivity survey at Arthur’s Stone, Dorstone, Herefordshire.. GeoArch. 2011/30.
  19. <22> SHE23912 - Unpublished Report: Stanford, A. 2012. Resistivity survey at Arthur’s Stone, Dorstone, Herefordshire.. Aerial-Cam. AC-AS-3D-0001-032012.
  20. <3> SHE350 - Bibliographic reference: Royal Commission on Historical Monuments. 1931. Inventory of Monuments, Herefordshire South-West, Vol I. Herefordshire South-West, Vol 1. Vol.I, p.55-6, Pl.89.
  21. <2> SHE7407 - Bibliographic reference: Daniel, G. 1950. Prehistoric Chambered Tombs. p.217.
  22. <11> SHE8028 - Bibliographic reference: Duncumb, John. 1804. Collections towards the history and antiquities of the county of Hereford, Vol 1 Part 1. Hist of Herefordshire. p 6 and frontispiece.
  23. <1> SHE8135 - Scheduling record: English Heritage. 07/1995. Schedule Entry. English Heritage. Mon. No. 19140.

Associated events

Protected status

  1. Scheduled Monument 19140: ARTHUR'S STONE NEOLITHIC BURIAL CHAMBER, 450M SOUTH WEST OF MOUNT PLEASANT

Associated Historic Landscape Character Records

  1. HHE212 - Large Compass Enclosure of the Landscape - Enclosure of Former Woodland or Common Land