There is something extraordinary about large stones. In millennia past there would have been vast stones scattered across the landscape, strewn by the surging forces of water and ice which have long since receded. Over time, however, these stones would have been broken up and moved by those clearing the fields for farming, and claiming the stone for building. Seeing a huge stone now is a magical experience – and such experiences provoke us to pause, to wonder, to feel the power of nature. They slow us down in a delightful way.
At Sun Rising we have today set two such stones in place. The larger is around 5′ tall, the round one behind it slightly smaller but still over a tonne in weight. They stand directly on the sight line from the main car park, along the track, through the roundhouse and beyond. The last section of that, over grass, is a path we’ll be mowing, encouraging visitors to wander up to the stones and pause.
The local quarries from which this honey-coloured Hornton stone has been dug for some centuries once employed a third of the area’s working men. Living on starvation wages, labouring in harsh conditions year-round, this stone not only draws our minds to the beauty of nature but it also acknowledges all those men, sons, husbands, brothers, whose hard lives were so grounded in this landscape. I hope the peace found at Sun Rising in some way touches their memory.