Tuesday, 12 January 2010

The Godstone

The Godstone is a small, christianised monument in a churchyard in Formby, north of Liverpool. It supposedly used to reside in the village green but was moved to its position in the churchyard, and inscribed with a cross, and steps to symbolise the ascent to heaven.

"Until recently Roman Catholics were buried here, and the coffins carried three times round this stone, presumably (as in other instances) following the way of the sun. The custom may be very ancient, and indeed a pagan survival. Roman Catholics, moreover, in visiting the churchyard, used to kneel down and pray before this stone."

We couldnt find it for a good while, we looked all around the church, and into the trees further back but eventually after splitting up to curb the boundarys found it to the west of the church at the furthest point of the churchyard there. It was smaller than we expected, but very sweet and joined by a few other similar sized boulders. The carving was unusual, an abstract sigil rather than a stern reminder that, as it has been said to describe this rock;

•" where God hath a Temple, the Divell will have a
chapiiel: where God hath sacrifices, the Divell will
have his oblations."

We were dusted with snow as we took our photo, and then the skies grew heavy with it. The car got fairly stuck and we foolishly meandered back towards the sea to find Gormley's Another Place. The drive back across the pennines was sickeningly slow, slippy and tiring.

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