Friday, 14 December 2018

Three Shire Stones, Batheaston

The Three Shire Stones are located at the tripoint where the counties of Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire meet. In the case of Somerset, it is the historic county, rather than the modern one, as the stones are now located in the parish of Batheaston, Bath & North East Somerset.  In the case of Gloucestershire it is also the historic county, as the stones are currently located in South Gloucestershire (Marshfield parish).  The grid reference is ST 796 701.

There are three large upright stones with a horizontal capstone on top of them, arranged to look like a prehistoric megalith.  However they were apparently only erected in 1859, incorporating three smaller stones, which were erected in 1736.

The Three Shire Stones are easy to miss, as although they are on the side of an unclassified road (the Fosse Way), they are partially hidden by a stone wall immediately to the north and by trees to the south.  There is nowhere to park at the stones and they are on a surprisingly busy straight road and most of the cars drive by at speed.  There is a field gateway about 120 metres to the south and on the same side of the road as the Three Shire Stones (the west side).  It is possible to walk north along the grass verge from the parking place to get to the stones.

There are (or once were) other Three Shire Stones in England e.g. where Cumberland, Lancashire and Westmorland once met.  There are (or used to be) also Three Shire Oaks e.g. where Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire meet.

Three Shire Stones - view from the road

Three Shire Stones

Three Shire Stones - looking east towards the road

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