Thompson's Rock Solstice Stone
Standing Stone In Rothbury, Northumberland
A holed stone in the Simonside Hills that lines up with the summer solstice.
A walk in the Simonside Hills is a fabulous experience at any time of the year, but did you know there is a special Solstice Stone up here?
Known as Thompson's Rock, as it was discovered by David Thompson in 1987, it is also colloquially known as the holed stone on Simonside. This huge boulder has a hole hewed into it that is alleged to perfectly line up with the midsummer sunset.
The shaft is appararently perfectly aligned with the midsummer sunset over Yarnspath Law in the north west of the Cheviots and the rising of the midwinter sun in line with Tynemouth Priory.
The diameter of the hole ranges from 3cm - 8cm and runs 150cm through the rock and may actually be natural.
The stone just looks like any other in the area, but if you look closely you will see it doesn't just sit in soil, but instead is carefully positioned and supported by a base of rocks.
According to The Countryside Charity (CPRE):
The hole is oriented and 'sighted' on a point fractionally above the north-west horizon where the sun sets during the midsummer solstice. When the sky is clear over this point at midsummer sunset, the sun-burst of light through the hole creates a quite spectacular sight, as particles in the interior surface of the hole act as a filter magnifying and diffracting the sun's rays.
Here is a picture of the stone in action from their website too (credit Colin Adsley - CPRE)
The stone stands on the banks of The Beacon on Simonside Hills and can be a little difficult to find, but that is where the Fabulous North are here to help. If you are parked at Lordenshaw car park, just head straight up onto the Simonside ridge and follow the path as it forks to the right.
As you approach the final ascent for The Beacon, turn right onto a narrow path through the heather and Thompson's Stone is a few minutes walk away.
How To Find Thompson's Rock Solstice Stone
Contributed by Simon Hawkins
Thanks for checking out this place on the Fabulous North! I do enjoy a wander out in to the countryside trying to find hidden gems that not many people know about. You can't beat a rogue Pele tower up a remote hill or a mysterious stone circle or a stunning waterfall secluded in a forest.More Places from Simon
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