Mysterious stone carving shows up at British yard sale


A British archaeologist and television producer, perusing a yard sale in Leicester, England, came across an item being sold as garden ornament that was unlike other objects being proffered.

Instead of a garden-variety garden ornament, the stone carving had a complex pattern that “may be some form of writing,” according to James Balme, who purchased the article.

Weighing approximately 60 pounds, the stone is about 18 inches long and 5-1/2 inches wide at its base.

The stone appears to have been used as “a keystone from an archway or indeed a vaulted ceiling,” according to Balme.

While its exact date is uncertain, Balme believes it’s from the Anglo-Saxon period, which began when the Romans abandoned Britain around 410 AD and ended with William the Conqueror’s invasion of England in 1066, according to the online publication RedOrbit.

The sandstone carving has been used as a garden ornament for several years, Balme told the Danish publication Jyllands-Posten.

In an effort to identify the use and exact date of the stone carving, Balme is turning to social media such as Twitter to try to learn more about the stone.

(Top: Stone found by James Balme on sale as a garden ornament in Leicester, England.)


12 thoughts on “Mysterious stone carving shows up at British yard sale

    • It struck me as strange that no mainstream US publication had picked up this story, but then I remembered that most mainstream US publications are too focused on celebrity fluff to bother with truly interesting news.

      • Oh!! and thank you for the Like on “The Other ‘If'”, over at my place. That was kind. I’m such a naive twerp, I’d actually seen it as a sort of feminist anthem–not anthem, but…something dramatic and potentially noteworthy. Instead, it sank, soundless, into the bog. Which, my good friend Joey reminds me, is usually (not always) a fair indicator that the art’s higher quality rests primarily–or solely–in the eye of its artist : )

      • Sometimes good posts go unrecognized for what they are. The right people don’t see them, they are too deep for someone without appropriate time to comment or they just slip by for whatever reason. And even if a post’s quality rests “primarily – or solely – in the eye of the artist,” so be it. You stated something you thought important, which is what your blog is about.

      • I know, it’s pathetic. I hate our news outlets. It’s one of the reasons I love your blog, I’m able to find interesting views on things with more importance than the Kardashians. I hope you’re able to share more about this mystery. It’s fascinating. What a find!

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