Skip to content

Bird Stone

September 1, 1985

1st September

Her 17th Birthday.



Thundersley Natural Stone / Erratic / Other Natural Feature : The Megalithic Portal and Megalith Map:.

Church of St Peter, Thundersley.

Odd looking church on a pagan site. “Thundersley” means the grove of Thunor the Anglo-Saxon god known to the Vikings as Thor. This site is on a steep hilltop with dramatic views of the Thames far below.

Two stones, the one by the church porch is called the “Bird Stone” and there is another about 50 yards from the church by the road. The significance is that Thundersley denotes a sacred grove to Thunor (Thor). The church is very likely to have been built on the site of the pagan grove and one or both of the stones could have had ritual use. Set high on a ridge overlooking the Thames estuary, this place would have been one of the first places to be settled in this otherwise wet and marshy landscape. Is it at all possible that these stones (incredibly rare in stoneless Essex) could have been regarded as Thunor’s “thunder stones” ie thunder-bolts?”

Peter, did you notice an odd skull-shaped stone just to the west of the south porch?

I spotted it a couple of years ago when I was there, and wondered about it’s possible origin…

Posted 4 weeks ago.

“Natural Stone / Glacial Erratic in Essex

No – I didn’t notice it. I went there because Bernard Cornwell mentions an ancient stone with a hole in it. He refers to it in one of his novels about Alfred the Great. Perhaps it is just his invention, but I got the impression that he was referring to an actual stone that he saw when he lived in Thundersley. Perhaps it is the same stone that you saw. I couldn’t find anything except recent gravestones.

There is a reference on the Megalithic Portal:

Peter, here’s the stone I saw back in 2006. It’s certainly holed, but looks like the stone was part of a larger piece that’s been ‘drilled’. What say you?Thundersley 'skull stone' by ocifant

Great stuff! It is most probably the stone that Bernard Cornwell refers to. Sometimes flint is pierced but this stone doesn’t look like flint. So if its not natural then the holes must have been made by someone. Could be that old stand-by -“ritual”, but I wonder if it could be an anchor stone. We know that the vikings were active locally at the Battle of Benfleet. They did use stone anchors and if a rope was passed through those holes….

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: