Just a five minute drive from beside Reed hill with it's still impressive round barrow is this pretty little stone, murder stone or not it's a nice one.
The stone was just off the map so I was going on a vague memory from too many years ago, luckily Iv'e got the stone finding knack, I parked by the newly renovated farm house, just off the small lane and five minutes later we were at the pretty little stone.
The shape of the stone whilst not unique (superficially Maen Llia like) is undoubtedly intentional, they didn't just pick the nearest likely large stone, this one was special, how so I can not say. But what they couldn't have known (or perhaps they did) was how the colours would come out after being exposed to the elements for four thousand years or so, oranges, yellows, reddish browns, it was really quite beautiful.
The positioning was paramount too, very visible from a long way to the south and east and west but not north as there is a big hill behind it. It also has a tentative connection with the barrow on Reed hill, presumably of the same (ish) date, as the stone seems to sit in the lea of the great hill, maybe even saluting the hill and barrow.
On the way back to the car we saw two older gents out for a walk, one of them was of African descent, it's always nice to see a diverse mix of people out in the countryside, I hope they had a look at the stone.
[visited 29/1/12] What a glorious little stone with an equally glorious view. Its a similar profile to the near-by Whaley Bridge stone and sits in a similarish position, this one having a wider view. Its on a little knoll next to the footpath, so you may have to do a quick ninja run to get right next to it.
It's yet another shouldered head of valley stone as well, this one made me seriously think there could be something in the stone representing an ancestor idea. Give it a biodegradable head and you've got a symbol that can look over your land, that can be seen from a fair way away.
Access should be easy, there are no stiles from the road, but there is a shut gate into the field then a short steepish climb. There is a space for a car to park just up the road from the farm, I however headed over from kettleshulme via the footpaths. Again this should be straight forward, just aim for the one that comes out nearest the farm, not the one the other side as this takes you through a swamp.
I do not think that "the murder stone" is the correct name for this standing stone. The murder stone is a relatively modern, inscribed stone plaque on a road about 3 miles from this site, joining Disley to Whaley Bridge. I suspect that this misnomer began on another web site and has now been propagated here.
Sadly, though I have visited this stone, I do not know its proper name or purpose. I would be very interested to hear from anyone who does.
[This stone is listed as a Grade II scheduled monument in Cheshire, with the name 'The Murder Stone'. It is said to date from the Early Bronze Age. See Baza's links below. TMA Ed. ]
The Murder Stone: a standing stone 150m north west of Cornfield Farm.
"...stone erected on a ridge above the brook at Handley Fold. The stone is a triangular natural slab of local gritstone. It is earthfast and stands on the crest of the ridge affording good visibility in all directions except the north east where the view is obscured by higher ground. The stone measures 1.22m at its widest point and 0.44m deep. It stands 1.14m high.