Copyright 2014-2020 Hidden Wirral
Source: A Perambulation of the Wirral Hundred
First Edition, October 1909
Second Impression, October 1909
Third Impression, November 1909
The late Sir James Picton took the greatest interest in Thurstaston, and had certain theories concerning it, and the origin of its name, with which we need not necessarily concern ourselves, but he describes the place so well that he has made it unnecessary for other pens to strive to emulate his. He says : "In a secluded part of the common there is a natural amphitheatre of 4 or 5 acres, surrounded by sloping banks, brilliant in the autumn with the rich purple and crimson tint of the heather and ling. In the centre of this area rises a huge isolated rock of red sandstone, about 50 feet in length, 30 feet wide, and 25 feet high. The shape is rectangular with some slight irregularities. The sides are scarped down nearly perpendicular in two stages. A path running along the ledge leads to the summit. The flat portion of the summit and parts of the sides, where grass and shrubs have not found a-lodgment, are covered with initials and ' graffiti ' of successive generations of visitors. It is not a boulder, but part of the bunter red sandstone which underlies the whole neighbourhood. Standing thus isolated, it forms a very remarkable object. How far its original shape has been modified it is impossible to say, but human labour has been largely expended upon it. The sandstone in the locality is nowhere else found in a similar form and position." He then concludes that on this stone the Danes made sacrifices in honour of Thor, or the sun, and would have us believe that fat oxen were sacrificed here, aye, and even that the blood of human victims may once have reddened the stone. Many people do not agree with these conclusions, and whilst ready to admit that the Norsemen were at Thurstaston, and also the Norse origin of the name, they do not consider the remarkable stone a relic of heathendom.