Robin Hood’s Penny Stone, Wainstalls, West Yorkshire

Stone Circle (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – SE 046 288

Archaeology & History

The Pennystone on 1852 map

The Pennystone on 1852 map

All remains of this site, first mentioned as a stone circle in 1836, have gone. The place could be found by the appropriately named Stone Farm at the top end of Wainstalls and was first mentioned by John Watson (1775), who strangely said nothing about any circle here.  However, this changed when John Crabtree (1836) arrived and described a ring of stones surrounding a large boulder in the centre (illustrated here). The boulder itself was actually called the Robin Hood Penny Stone.

Folklore

Watson's 1775 drawing

Watson’s 1775 drawing

This was one of the many legendary sites from where our legendary outlaw practiced shooting his arrows.  He was also said to have picked up and thrown a large standing stone from this spot, until it landed three-and-a-half miles away on the hillside on the other side of the Calder Valley. (this was known as the Field House, or Sowerby Lad Standing Stone)

References:

  1. Bennett, Paul, The Old Stones of Elmet, Capall Bann 2001.
  2. Crabtree, John, Concise History of the Parish and Vicarage of Halifax, Hartley & Walker: Halifax 1836.
  3. Dobson, R.B. & Taylor, J., Rymes of Robyn Hood, Alan Sutton: Gloucester 1989.
  4. Faull, M.L. & Moorhouse, S.A., West Yorkshire: An Archaeological Guide (4 volumes), WYMCC: Wakefield 1981.
  5. Varley, Raymond, “A Stone-Axe Hammer, Robin Hood’s Penny Stone and Stone Circle at Wainstalls, Warley, near Halifax,” in Yorks. Arch. Journal 69, 1997.
  6. Watson, John, The History and Antiquities of the Parish of Halifax, T. Lowndes: London 1775.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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About megalithix

Occultist, prehistorian and independent archaeological researcher, specializing in prehistoric rock art, Neolithic, Bronze Age & Iron Age sites, and the animistic cosmologies of pre-Christian & traditional cultures.
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