Wade’s Stone once again stands proud on the North York Moors thanks to help from Tees Archaeology.
The two metre high stone in the North York Moors National Park toppled over, it is thought, due to centuries of cultivation around the scheduled monument reducing the level of the surrounding ground
The standing stone is known as Wade’s Stone after the giant that, according to local legend, lived in the area.
The proximity of another standing stone also known as Wade’s Stone has led many to believe that the two mark the grave of the giant who is behind many local stories.
Wade and his wife Bell were said to live in a castle in Lythe and kept cattle on the moors.
Wade’s Causeway, which crosses Wheeldale Moor in the National Park, was built by the giant so that Bell could milk her cows and the iconic Hole of Horcum was apparently formed during an argument between the two, when Wade scooped up a handful of earth to throw at Bell, creating Blakey Topping – a nearby hill – in the process.
Standing stones are prehistoric ritual or ceremonial monuments with dates ranging from the late Neolithic to the end of the Bronze Age (c.3000 to 800 BC).
They may have been markers relating to land ownership, for route-ways, graves or meeting points.
Wade’s Stone is in the parish of Barnby, an area which includes many prehistoric burial monuments as well as a number of other standing stones.
The stone was re-erected with funding from the North York Moors National Park Authority’s monument management scheme, a partnership between the Authority and English Heritage to reduce the ‘At Risk’ status of scheduled monuments and improve their management.
This partnership is particularly important since nearly a third of all the scheduled monuments for the entire Yorkshire & Humber region can be found in the North York Moors National Park. The existing Scheme began in 2009 and has just been extended until 2015.
[pullquote]The sheer size of some of these stones adds to the mystery of how they got here.
Graham Lee, NYMNPA [/pullquote]
With the approval of the landowner, the North York Moors National Park Authority commissioned Tees Archaeology to record and then reinstate the fallen stone.
Tees Archaeology carefully excavated what little was left of the original socket hole and then extended its depth to provide an adequate trench into which to set the re-erected stone.
Graham Lee, the National Park Authority’s Senior Archaeological Conservation Officer, said: “The standing stones and crosses dotted across the North York Moors are part of the area’s charm.
“They make our ancestors seem almost tangible and are probably some of the most photographed objects in the National Park.
“The sheer size of some of these stones adds to the mystery of how they got here and what they were for – it’s therefore not surprising that local legends have sprung up around many of them.”
There is no public access to Wade’s Stone but it can be easily viewed from the A174 near East Barnby Outdoor Education Centre.