The Hell Stone
Location: Portesham Hill
If the Devil should cast his Stone...
The Dorset historian, Rev. John Hutchins writes in his 'History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset', "The common people call it Hell stone, and have a tradition that the devil flung it from Portland Pike, a north point of that island full in view, as he was diverting himself at quoits."
It is often said that the name of the Hell stone derived from the legend, but it is probably more likely to have derived from the saxon word 'Helian' meaning to cover or to conceal.
As the Hellstone formed the entrance to a chambered Neolithic long barrow and was originally covered by a mound of earth, like the many of the other barrows seen in the area. The passing of time saw the eventual collapse of the burial chamber.
This present arrangement which consists of nine upright sarsen stones supporting a single capstone was restored incorrectly by a team of men on the 11th June 1886, but failed to replace the huge capstone on the top of the chamber. It wasn't untill the 14th August 1869 when eight Portland quarry men arrived to finish the task of replacing the sixteen ton capstone with the aid of screw jacks.
Footnote: Interested in Ley Lines, Dowsing, Ancient Monuments, Folklore and Mysteries? Why not join the Dorset Earth Mysteries Group? As well as the talks, there are field trips organised by local researcher and author Peter Knight to sacred sites around Dorset and neighbouring counties. Visit their website DORSET EARTH MYSTERIES GROUP for more details.