Monday, 2 April 2012


There are two Wade's Stones still standing, one at East Barnby and one near Goldsborough. They are thought to be prehistoric in origin and the southern stone (East Barnby) has been associated with an Anglo Saxon inhumation. A spearhead has also been found there (Frank Elgee, Early Man on the North Yorks Moors, 1930).

Although only two remain today, it is claimed that there were at least four stones in the past. When the Reverend George Young spoke about them in his History of Whitby of 1817, he described the sites thus: 'A stone above East Barnby, which once had another near it, is said to mark out the grave of a giant called Wade; but that honour is assigned, by another tradition, to two similar pillars near Goldsborough, standing about 100 feet asunder'.

Two views of Wade's Stone (south) at Goldsborough
Sometime between February and March 2008 the East Barnby stone toppled over, probably due to centuries of cultivation around its base. However Tees Archaeology have recently erected it again. Both stones stand on working farms on agricultural land.

The fallen Wade's Stone (South) at East Barnby
Photo by David Raven 28.03.2008
As the stone appears today, thanks to the efforts of Tees Archaeology
The question of how the character Wade became so closely associated with this area is another story altogether. An interesting accountof Wade and his origins, beginning with the story of what occurred when the author Mike Haigh visited one of the sites, can be found here.

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