Trellech, 5 miles South of Monmouth, Monmouthshire, Wales.



Driving along the picturesque B4293, between Chepstow and Monmouth, will eventually bring you to the village of Trellech; a name derived from the three stones which stand just off the road. In Welsh, "Tri" means three, and "Llech" is a flat stone, and on entering the site there is a notice board which explains this fact and not much more besides. There are two local legends as to the origins of Harold's Stones, the foremost of which is that they mark the spot where three Welsh chieftains fell in battle against King Harold of England; but this can easily be disproved as they date to 1,500 BC, almost two millennia earlier. The other declares that a certain Jack of Kent, presumably a chap of some considerable strength, threw them here from Sugar Loaf mountain, 13 miles away near Avergavenny, having lost his temper during a contest with the Devil.


What can be stated as fact is that the stones are a quartz conglomerate, known as pudding stone, and that they were most likely sourced locally as it is a common material to the area. The notice boards around the site give several possible explanations of their true purpose; as marker stones, some form of seasonal calendar, or that they were used as part of a religious ritual. Thus almost the full spectrum of vague explanations for any standing stone is covered, and so we must alas draw the inescapable conclusion that no one has the slightest idea.



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Harold's Stones