Longstone / Long Tom
Wayside Cross or Standing Stone
Southwest of Minions, Cornwall OS Map Ref SX25547055
OS Maps - Landranger 201 (Plymouth & Launceston), Explorer 109 (Bodmin Moor)
||The Longstone or
Long Tom is a medieval wayside cross that stands just to the south of a
road that runs southwest from the village of Minions on Bodmin Moor. The
flash photo on the left doesn't really show it but the head of this phallic
stone is carved with a simple cross and it forms one of several such Christian
monuments on the moor (see also King Doniert's Stone),
it is possible however that it has a much longer history.
Situated about 850 metres to the north-northeast are the three stone circles of The Hurlers and beyond them the cairn of Rillaton Barrow. If a line is drawn from the Longstone to Rillaton then it would appear to pass through all three of the stone circles (at least on a 1:25000 map). This may just be coincidence but it could be that the Longstone is a Christianised prehistoric standing stone. The early church sometimes sought to appropriate pagan monuments rather than destroy them in an attempt to woo the pagan worshipers into the Christian faith (see Rudston Monolith). I've suggested the same process may have place at the wheel cross of Maen Achwyfaen in Wales but without excavation around the base of the Longstone the true history of the stone may remain unresolved.
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