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31 December 2011
Standing stone re-erected in North Yorkshire

Wade's Stone South, a prehistoric standing stone, once again stands proud on the North Yorkshire Moors (England) thanks to help from Tees Archaeology. The two metre high stone toppled over, it is thought, due to centuries of cultivation around the monument reducing the level of the surrounding ground
     The proximity of another standing stone also known as Wade's Stone (North) has led many to believe that the two mark the grave of the giant who is behind many local stories.
Wade's Causeway, which crosses Wheeldale Moor in the National Park, was built by the giant Wade so that his wife Bell could milk her cows and the iconic Hole of Horcum was apparently formed during an argument between the two, when Wade scooped up a handful of earth to throw at Bell, creating Blakey Topping - a nearby hill - in the process.
     The stone was re-erected with funding from the North York Moors National Park Authority's monument management scheme, a partnership between the Authority and English Heritage to reduce the 'At Risk' status of scheduled monuments and improve their management. With the approval of the landowner, the North York Moors National Park Authority commissioned Tees Archaeology to record and then reinstate the fallen stone. Tees Archaeology carefully excavated what little was left of the original socket hole and then extended its depth to provide an adequate trench into which to set the re-erected stone.
     Graham Lee, the National Park Authority's Senior Archaeological Conservation Officer, said: "The standing stones and crosses dotted across the North York Moors are part of the area's charm. They make our ancestors seem almost tangible and are probably some of the most photographed objects in the National Park. The sheer size of some of these stones adds to the mystery of how they got here and what they were for - it's therefore not surprising that local legends have sprung up around many of them."
     There is no public access to Wade's Stone but it can be easily viewed from the A174 near East Barnby Outdoor Education Centre.

Edited from Heritage and History (15 November 2011)

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