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Friday, 14 August 2009
Sarsen Stone in Godstone


Also known as Greywethers these are a form of sandstone. They have a small amount of impurities in the stone and the iron can cause a reddish tinge (e.g. when wet).  They have been widely used in the past as building materials, including at Stonehenge which is now regarded by some to have been a memorial to the dead.

This is the only sarsen I know hereabouts but they are associated with the chalk downs - some believe that they were carried here by glaciers during the last ice age.  The sarsen was placed here by members of the Rambling Club as a memorial to Walker Miles, who was a founder of the Ramblers and who championed the countryside rights of way. He also published popular “sixpenny” walking guides. The plaque at the foot of his grave reads:

This is the bourne to which the footpath led
This is the spot uncharted in his works
Twas come upon so suddenly
But ever will remembered be
As where he takes his peaceful rest

Another plaque on the side of the sarsen stone itself reads:

To the memory of
Edmund Seyfang Taylor
(“Walker Miles”)
Born August 27th 1853. Died April 19th 1908.
This sarsen stone
was erected by members of the
rambling clubs of London
who knew the man and admired his works

Why did I seek out this grave? Well at the top of Leith Hill Tower there is a pointer towards the distant tower of St Nicolas Church, Godstone, that highlights that this graveyard is the final resting place of Walker Miles.

Posted by bigblue on 14/08/2009 at 08:32 AM
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