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All Saints' Church

Rudston, Yorkshire, England.

 

Here in the East Riding of Yorkshire, on a natural hill (high place) where pagans once worshiped their pantheon of gods, a 'Standing Stone' (monolith) was erected in heathen times.  Later, the Catholics continued to worship in the same place, continuing the old pagan religion. 

 

This monolith is the tallest in Britain at nearly twenty six feet in height.

The name 'Rudston' is from the old English 'rood' (the cross) and 'stone'.

Standing in stones of this type became in later years the cross used by the Celtic church.

This is another example of the assimilation of Christianity (Catholicism) into existing pagan religions.  We are told by historians such pagan sites were in used thousands of years ago, but what is clear is that they were used recently, for in the Domesday Book of 1086 the church at Rudston is not mentioned.   This building was constructed after the Norman conquest of 1066.  The font, for immersing babies (pagans immersed babies to wash away their sin) is found in the church entrance and is from the same period, as entry into the church is for baptised persons.  Today the Anglican church sprinkles or pours for the mode of baptism.

The Monolith is a huge tall, roughly-cut block of grit-stone, the nearest source seems to be 10 miles away, in the North Riding.  It's journey to it's present location must have been a considerable feat of engineering skill and human effort. It was erected, probably in the late Neolithic period or Bronze Age for some religious or ritual purpose which must have been of the greatest significance.

Recent measurements have shown its present height to be 25' 9" , but a fragment appears to have broken off the top and it's original height, if it had been pointed, would have been about 28'. The top of the stone was covered with lead in 1773 to protect it from the weather but this was later removed. The stone extends for many feet below the ground ~ according to an experiment conducted by Sir William Strickland in the late 18th century, to a depth as great as its height.

 

Click on images for larger, clearer pictures... 

 

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The Standing stone besides the church in the graveyard.

 

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The Standing stone besides the church in the graveyard, with Ken Chumbley, to give an idea of the size of this monolith.

 

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Another view.

 

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From a distance, showing the church and monolith.

 

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Descriptive plate.

 

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Interior view.

 

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Interior view of the altar.

 

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Interior view of the altar.

 

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The ancient font for immersing babies.

 

 

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