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Map extract is Crown Copyright © and courtesy of Ordnance Survey

During our teenage years we wandered over the beautiful Simonside Hills, bivouacked in Croppy’s Hole and climbed on the little crags at Selby’s Cove – but we didn’t know anything about the Solstice Stone on the north-easterly side of The Beacon (aka Spylaw Beacon), mainly because the stone wasn’t discovered (or rediscovered) until relatively recent times. The following photos were taken during a wee diversion from a circular walk along the tops from Lordenshaws car park to the top of Simonside.

Examining the stone, Rothbury in the background

Have a quick look at the pics, then download and read Crispian Oates’ excellent paper via the link and make up YOUR mind – is the holed stone simply a freak of nature with a fortunate alignment, or were our Northumbrian forebears skilled in the astronomic arts?

These two pics show the ends of the hole through the stone.

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 Click to download Simonside Paper

Thanks to Crispian Oates for permission to download his paper and to Dorothy and Ann for photos.

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