The Boulderstone

England, United Kingdom. (OS Ref: SJ 980 181)


Upon Brocton Field, beside the Chase Road, set upon a pedestal of Triassic pebbles, squats the 'Boulderstone'. I call it the 'Boulderstone' as, although it is a well known landmark, it seems to be known by a number of names - the 'Erratic Boulder', or simply as 'The Boulder'; or as it is marked on the OS map, the 'Glacial Boulder'.

The 'Boulderstone' is formed of Granite, a hard, intrusive, igneous rock, which is decidedly out of place here on the Moorlands of South Staffordshire, there being no granite outcrops anywhere in the Midlands. The nearest rocks of this type are found in the English Lake District over 130 miles (210km) to the north-west, while others occur on Dartmoor in Devon some 165 miles (270km) to the south-west. The boulder has been matched however, to the intrusive rock outcrop at Cniffel in Dumfries & Galloway, which is over 170 miles (280km) away from the Chase in the Southern Uplands of Scotland. An 'erratic', thhe boulder was ripped from its parent mountain sometime during the last Ice-Age, and was transported by glacial action to its present location, the journey perhaps taking ten-thousand years, its faceted sides caused by abrasion as it was transported under a glacier, giving its present rounded appearance.


Physicaly the 'Boulderstone' is smaller than one would imagine, perhaps barely a metre in height, width or breadth. The base, dating from the First World War when the area was a large military encampment, is a little unsightly, crude and somewhat distracting.