Devil's Arrows - Broughbridge, Yorkshire, UK.
N 54° 05.545 W 001° 24.173
30U E 604454 N 5994983
Quick Description: The Devil's Arrows have four lesser known names, 'The Three Greyhounds', The Devil's Bolts', 'The Three Arrows', or 'The Three Sisters'.
Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 8/30/2011 5:06:05 PM
Waymark Code: WMCF05
The Devil's Arrows are a set of three standing stones close to the A1(M),a major north / south route.
There were thought to have been either 4 or 5 stones originally and the spacing certainly suggests that at least one is now missing. Records suggest that one of them was removed and broken up years ago to build a bridge in nearby Boroughbridge.
As with many features of this type, the original purpose is no longer clear although it was the site of a solstice fair in the past. The fair of St. Barnabas was held near the stones on Midsummer's Day until the 18th century.
The stones themselves date back to late Neolithic or early Bronze Age. Some astronomical alignments have been suggested, as well as a ley line alignment. The shortest of them is 5.5m tall and the tallest 6.8m. They are made of Yorkshire Millstone Grit which may have been brought from Knaresborough or Plumpton rocks some miles away. It would probably have taken 200 men 6 months to drag them to this site.
These stones stand in rough alignment with the Thornborough Henges to the north near Dishforth and themselves are not in perfect alignment with each other.
Eack of the stones is notably marked with regular grooves running from top to bottom as though they were bored and drilled out of their original site, but this is ascribed by historians to erosion by the weather.
Of course, there is legend attached to these stones, more attractive than the researched history.
The tale is that the Devil, angered by people in the nearby Christian settlement at Aldborough fired arrows at them from Howe Hill (to the south of Fountains Abbey). His arrows fell short by a mile and landed in a line in the field where they now stand.
The co-ordinates are for the southernmost of the stones.
Local. Probably Knaresborough or Plumpton, 7-9 miles away.
It would appear from modern surveying techniques that these stones are closely aligned with the spot where the moon rises in mid-summer.
Parking: Not Listed
Size: Not listed
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