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Old Hartley Blue Stone | by Terry Wha
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Old Hartley Blue Stone

This blue stone is sited outside of a pub, and was correctly guessed by martin97uk.

 

Photograph replaced with plaque wording restored

 

Here's the text on display in the Delaval Arms Hotel:

 

"The Blue whinstone at the Old Hartley, near the entrance to the Delaval Arms Hotel, once marked the centre of the village of Old Hartley. A number of these large stones can be seen at various places on the Northumberland coast.

It is generally supposed that they rolled down during the ice age when the ice moved from west to east at the time of the great thaw.

In the early English and Saxon periods, they were called 'Moot Stones' and were used as a meeting place by the 'Wittan', a council of Village elders who gathered to formulate the laws and dispense justice.

During Norman times these stones were used as markers for castles and boundaries.

"Ye large Blew Stone marked ye site of Warkworth Castle" and at Monkseaton, "Ye Boulder Stone was a large "Blew Stone" near ye burn".

The Old Hartley Blue Stone marked the centre of the village and stood near the Blacksmith's shop, it was here that the villagers would meet before setting out on a journey.

At the time of the black death in 1348 it was thought that if one touched the stone they would be immune from the plague.

Over the years the stone became a symbol of good fortune and it was said to become a citizen of Old Hartley you had first to kiss the Blue Stone.

The Story goes that William Carr, the Hartley Samson, who was born at the Hartley Old Engine, and who was in his prime was the strongest man in all England, used to demonstrate his strength by lifting the stone and carrying it under his arm.

When the old village was demolished in 1940, the stone was buried in the path leading from the Blacksmith's shop to the PM chapel and when the new road was planned, Mr Wesley Dickinson removed the stone for safe keeping. When the roadworks were completed in 1973, the Whitley Bay Borough Council replaced the stone as near as possible to it's original position."

  

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Taken on December 2, 2006