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The Bridestones

OS Grid ref:- SJ 907 622

The Bridestones, a chambered cairn, dating from the Neolithic Age, are situated in an attractive location near Congleton overlooked by the hill known as Bosley Cloud.

The barrow is aligned East to West and contains a chamber in the Eastern end. Only one compartment of an original three exists today which measures six metres in length and 2.7 metres wide and consists of vertical stone slabs, which are divided by a broken cross slab. This kind of structure is associated with high status burials.

The sandstone cairn once possessed a surrounding stone circle with four portal stones; only two of the portal stones have survived to the present day. Only one 12ft stone pillar survives to the present day, which would have been one of a series of stone pillars which formed a pear shaped arrangement spreading out from the front of the chamber, these would have been interspersed with stones and capped with slabs thus forming an area of about 30ft by 45ft.

Several hundered tons of stone were taken from the monument to be used in the construction of the nearby turnpike road. Other stones were taken for use in an ornamental garden in Tunstall Park.

The origin of the cairn's name is lost. Legend states that a newly married couple were murdered at the site and the stones were laid around their resting place. They could possibly have been named for the Celtic fertility goddess Brigantia (otherwise known as Brighid or Bridie). Alternatively, the Old English word for "birds" was "briddes", the stones when in their original form could have resembled birds, giving rise to "Briddes stones". There are superb views over the Cheshire Plain from the monument.

BridestonesThe Bridestones


From Congleton take the A527 to Biddulph and turn left for Leek at the crossroads. After driving about 2 miles the chamber is situated in front of some trees to the left of the road. No parking space is provided.

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