Ron Cowell, the curator of prehistoric archaeology at Liverpool Museum, describes the finds of prehistoric flints and burnt hazelnuts. They're an unusual discovery because of their lowland location. The site will be buried by a new link road for J6 on the M62 near Huyton. There'll be a museum display of all the artefacts found.
Ah, you will say, but isn't this a castle motte? Well it is, but as the scheduled monument record allows, the mound was dug into in the 1840s, and it's thought that it was built onto a handy mound that already existed, a barrow.
Mr. W. Beamont, in a paper read before the Lancashire and Cheshire Historic Society, on the "Fee of Makerfield," etc., in March, 1873, says, - "On the west side of this rivulet" (the Golbourne brook), "where the red rock rises above it, there is scooped out a rude alcove or cave, which the country people assign to Robin Hood [...]". The stream near Newton has been blocked by an earthen embankment, and the "Castle Hill" now overlooks a beautiful artificial lake, with three branches. Robin Hood's cave, alas! had to be sacrificed; four or five feet of water now placidly flows over the site of its former entrance.
[...] The writer further informs us that the "Castle Hill is said to be haunted by a white lady, who flits and glides, but never walks. She is sometimes seen at midnight, but is never heard to speak.
The Rev. Mr. Sibson adds -- "There is a tradition that Alfred the Great was buried here, with a crown of gold, in a silver coffin."
The Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire for 1865 has an article by Professor J Y Simpson about the carvings (with drawings). I guess the feet hadn't been spotted yet. Perhaps they come under the description of the stone which is "too much disfigured by modern apocryphal cuttings and chisellings to deserve archaeological notice."
THE GREAT STONE OF THOR.— The following statement will not be without interest to your archaeological readers. In November, 1877, I called attention in the columns of N & Q.s to this venerable relic of prehistoric antiquity, probably of Danish origin, which exists at Thursaston (Thor-stane-ton), Cheshire, about eight miles from Birkenhead, and which, from its secluded position, has almost entirely escaped notice. I then stated my apprehensions that the advance of modern improvements would be likely to lay it out for building villas, for which the site is admirably adapted.
A commission of inquiry was sent down, which communicated with the Corporation of Birkenhead, being the nearest market town. It happened, fortunately, that the article in" N. & Q." had been seen and noticed by several members of this Corporation, who drew the attention of the commissioner to the desirability of preserving the monument. The result has been that not only will the monument be preserved, but sixty acres of. the surrounding land are to be set apart for a public park. The gigantic rock altar, with its beautiful natural amphitheatre, will thus be kept intact for ages yet to come. This circumstance, I think, affords encouragement to those who interest themselves in the preservation of our remnants of antiquity. J. A. PICTON.