The Northern Antiquarian Forum

Archaeology, folklore & myth of Britain's pre-christian sites & heritage: stone circles, holy wells, maypoles, tombs, archaic cosmologies and human consciousness. Everyone welcome - even Southerners!



    Join date : 2010-12-25


    Post  deadagaindave on Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:49 am

    Last year, Paulus, Paul Hornby, Mikki and I, visited the Bridestones, above Todmorden. Many of you will know of the Bridestones, and may be aware that the site was used for weddings and handfastings, in the not too distant past. Outdoor weddings of this type were usually heavily pagan flavoured, and likely seen by the rustic participants as the ‘real’ wedding. The church affair being a sideshow.
    The xtian clergy weren’t too happy about this carry on, so they sought to curtail the pagan ceremonies, by vandalistically toppling one of the stones; the Groom stone, leaving the Bridestone, standing.
    Whilst Paulus, was doing his usual thing; that is measuring and meticulously inspecting every stone in sight, even though he has done so many times before, (he’s frightened of missing anything) Paul Hornby, and I were parked above the stones chatting about the pagan weddings that used to happen there. A pleasant lady who was walking her dogs nearby, overheard our discussion, and informed us that the spot is still used for weddings, and that a friend of hers had been married at the Bridestone, just over a year earlier.
    I recently learned that a local pagan group is planning a day out at the site in April, and recalling the information that the dog walking lady provided, it occurred to me that the re erection of the Groom stone, would be an interesting project; and far from an impossible one.
    Modern equipment and engineering would enable the Groom stone, to be replaced, at no outrageous cost, if all other legal and administrative matters could be dealt with. Obviously the local authorities and the landowners would need to be on side, and to this end certain advantages of the re erection of the stone could be highlighted.
    The site is already well utilised. Close to the Calderdale Way, it is one of the path's favoured landmarks. Also,it is a favourite amble of local dog walkers. If you type ‘the Bridestones’ into google, you’ll get a lot of links to rock climbing sites, as the spot is favoured by climbers due to it’s interesting ‘boulder problems’. (short pitches used for training) So it’s hardly a little used, or barred location. In fact it is effectively already a tourist favoured location. If the re erection of the Groom, were to be mooted, and the media involved, the consequent boost to tourism could be of considerable benefit to local businesses. I have no doubt that pagan and other interested groups worldwide, could be activated to support the project via the internet. It is even probable that the project could be funded wholly by donations.
    Anyway, the purpose of this thread is to gather information at this stage. So if you have any information AT ALL about the Bridestones, such as links, documents etc, please post them. Better still if you know of anyone living in the area who may be interested in the idea, then please put them in touch with me.
    Joy and Blessings

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire


    Post  Paulus on Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:49 pm

    To those who don't know the place, it's this gorgeous place here:

    I think it's a great idea Dave. If you can get a lotta pagans on board and know how to sort the council officials (I'm having trouble with one misself at the mo, who's just stubborn as fuck!), I think it could work. Plenty o' folk in Hebden would be into giving this a go aswell, I reckon.

    Join date : 2009-01-29
    Age : 26
    Location : West Yorkshire


    Post  mikki on Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:38 pm

    Great stuff!
    I couldn't help but laugh when I saw the thread title 'The Groom's Erection!' Started by 'DeadagainDave' lol!

    Sorry Dave I love you


    Join date : 2011-12-18


    Post  maeve on Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:08 pm

    I know its not completely relevant Razz but I am currently studying archaeology at university and have been brought up by my pagan momma Smile ever since I was old enough to appreciate walking and the landscape I have been fascinated by the bridestones Very Happy I know many local stories about the area and am currently studying the area to attempt to understand its history Very Happy although .. it has to be said that there is only a small amount of history we can know for sure and most of the magic of the stones comes from not knowing the whole truth .. I take it this project never happened but I would be interested in helping Smile also if you guys know anything about the history of the bridestones I would love to hear Very Happy

    Join date : 2010-12-25


    Post  deadagaindave on Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:07 am

    Unfortunately maeve, most of our energies toward preservation, are currently being directed to preventing the disgusting despoilment of our moor lands by an egomaic pretend poet. (He that speaketh as though his mouth be filledeth with soft shit) So our own efforts to re-erect the groom have been put on hold. Ideally the notion could be officially mooted at local authority level by a Todmorden, or at least a Hebden Bridge resident, in order to have impact. If you can find anyone who fits the bill to get the ball rolling, I'm sure we could recruit considerable support, and offer lots of promotional ideas.

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