What’s the question I hear you ask.
In the March edition of Roundabout – the rather good parish magazine of All Saints’ Church in Lightwater – was a request ‘Do you know anything about ‘the stone’ on the top of Curley Hill? Apparently a resident, now moved away, asked the question of magazine’s editor.
Well, actually I know something about the stone. Here’s what I wrote in reply to the question, which appears in the April edition of Roundabout. Credit to Alan Hunt for the photo.
… The stone is a sarsen stone – a form of dense, hard silicified sandstone. There are other similar large stones locally, such as the one in the verge of the Maultway near junction with Red Road. The stones were deposited in their locations when being pushed there in front of the advancing glaciers in the last ice age.
Tim Price’s book ‘A Hundred Years Behind the Times’ is about the history of the village of Bisley. In his book Tim says that in the mid 1800’s much such sandstone was dug out of the wet and boggy heathland and used as building material, notably to build Holy Trinity Church in West End. While still wet, and sometimes still partly under water, sandstone is easy to work. It’s only after it has dried out that it becomes as hard as brick.
In speaking with Tim Price recently he said that he has reasonably reliable evidence for the reason the stone on Curley Hill is split into two. A celebratory bonfire in 1945 next to the stone was left to burn after everyone had left. At some time during the night the heat caused the stone to explode. What remains of the stone is about three quarters of the original stone.