The Bridestones

The Bridestones are a Megalithic monument which can be found on the outskirts of Congleton overlooked by the hill known as the Cloud in the county of Cheshire. The Bridestones are over 4000 years old, and years ago consisted of a vast cairn, however nowadays little remains of its former glory due to roadmakers and farmhouse builders to name just a few who have plundered the stones over the years.

The name the Bridestones is derived from the fertility Goddess Brigit or bridie, and it is thought that its main use was that of a burial chamber, for who no one knows for sure, but many people believe it was for a woman and not a man who was buried here.

West Kennet long barrow near to Silbury hill and Avebury in Wiltshire is the best comparison of how the Bridestones would have looked. Previously there would have been a rectangular chamber approximately 18ft by 7ft which would have been divided in two by a slab of rock with a circular hole cut into it. In one side of the chamber it is thought that a ruling chief would have been buried, and in the other half of the chamber his or her personal possessions and food would have been stored in the belief that they would be needed in the next life. The chamber would have been capped by a massive stone slab which unfortunately no longer exists.

There now exists only one 12ft stone pillar, which would have been one of a series of stone pillars which would have 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. This area would have been used for performing ritual fire ceremonies which were supposed to sever the spirit of the deceased from the earthly realm. The burial chamber, monoliths and fire ritual hall would have been covered by a mound of stones covering an area 360ft long by 36ft wide, and unlike other long barrows of that era which tended to be egg shaped, the Bridestones would have resembled a huge lizard in shape.

The floor of the burial chamber would have been covered to a depth of 8 or 9 inches with white stones, this was thought to have some sort of ritualistic meaning. It is not known for sure where the entrance to the site would have been, but in all probability it would have been to the East of the burial chamber.

It is thought that in the past wedding ceremonies were held at the Bridestones, the reason being is that when the individual made their vows, it is thought that the indwelling spirit contained in the different monoliths would impart different qualities, a massive stone imparted greatness, an upright stone uprightness, etc.

Further in regard to the way the Bridestones are thought to have acquired their name, as I stated previously, it was derived from St Bride or Brigit, Goddess of the brigantes, a tribe whose influence spread from Scotland to the Midlands, and she was supposedly invoked in ceremonies of burial by fire.

People who were being married at the Bridestones were known to make their vows by putting their hands through the cirular opening in the burial chamber which divided the two halves, but sadly this no longer exists, locally this became known as” Bridies Wedding Ring”.

The Battleaxe people who constructed the Bridestones would it seems have astronomical and geometrical skills. The length of the Bridestones corresponded roughly to the number of days in a year. The megaliths in the stone circle would have corresponded to the hours of the day and night, and the two fire pillars in the centre of the circle were counterparts of Teutonic Dag and Nat (night and day). The length of the Bridestones at 360ft were exactly ten times its breadth which was 36ft at its widest part. It was constructed with its apex pointing to the East to catch the first rays of the rising sun, and as the sun would set, so the Western extremity would be bathed in golden sunlight from the disappearing sun.

2 Responses to “The Bridestones”

  1. have you heard about the bridestones alien abduction story , just google it.

  2. Very nearby in Rushton Spencer is the Church of St Lawrence, well worth a visit. ( See ‘Ludchurch ; secrets of Rushton church’).

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