Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Thurstaston- Thor's Stone

Thurstaston Hill is the location of Thor's Stone, a large sandstone outcrop and a place of romantic legend.

As children we enjoyed nothing better than scrambling up its various sides to the top - which in those days seemed very high indeed.

In the 19th century it was supposed that early Viking settlers may have held religious ceremonies here. A visit to the site by members of the British Archaeological Association in 1888 heard an account by Rev. A. E. P. Gray, rector of Wallasey, that the 'Thor Stone' was also known in the locality as 'Fair Maiden's Hall' and that children were "in the habit of coming once a year to dance around the stone". This part of Wirral was part of a Norse colony centred on Thingwall in the 10th and 11th centuries. However, geologists and historians are agreed that the rock is a natural formation similar to a tor, arising from periglacial weathering of the sandstone, which was later exploited by quarrymen in the 18th and 19th centuries. Whilst this is no less fascinating the local legend that it was a place of Viking meetings will undoubtedly persist.

In the middle of the 20th Century the Ramblers Association held a meeting at the Stone to press for extended rights of access to open land. A photo of that meeting shows that the immediate surroundings were open heathland whereas nowadays a substantial amount of Birch woodland has surrounded the Stone.

 The hard way up!


  1. Even if it is a natural formation, couldn't the Vikings have found it a good place to gather, too?
    Anyway thanks for sharing, I'm fascinated by places and legends like this.

  2. Many memories of the "Stone" Pete B