‘Standing Stone’: OS Grid Reference – SE 1096 4261
From East Morton village, take the moorland road, east, and up the steep hill. Where the road levels out there’s a right turn, plus (more importantly!) a trackway on your left which leads onto the moor. Go up here, past the top of the tree-line; on for another 100 yards or so, then turn left into the heather. You’ll notice the upright stone from the path, even if the heather’s deep. Check it out!
Archaeology & History
Nowt’s been said of this stone elsewhere — probably cos it’s in that halfway height between being classed as an authentic monolith, and that other of ‘dubious status’ (hence the reason I’ve highlighted this in inverted commas!). But an additional reason that this three-foot-tall stone needs describing is the close association it has with cup-and-ring stones very close by; along with some previously unrecognised prehistoric walling and at least one Bronze Age cairn some twenty yards to the north. We even find two distinctly archetypal ‘standing stone’ characters laid down in the heather 10 yards to the north, more than 4-feet long. It’s a good looking stone and has a chunkier upright bedfellow in the heather some twenty yards to the west. Along with the adjacent prehistoric remains here, the stone’s worth checking out!
The word Todmor was earlier spelt as ‘Todmerstones’ (1849) and is thought to relate to it being, in some form or another, ‘the boundary stones of the fox/es’. The nearest boundary line is about 100 yards west of here.
Smith, A.H., The Place-Names of ther West Riding of Yorkshire – volume 4, Cambridge University Press 1961.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian