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A recent edition of Meyn Mamvro magazine included an article about this stone near to Coverack on the Lizard. Having previously documented many of the ancient sites on the Lizard, it seemed only right that I visit this latest addition to the list and report on it here.
The stone is quite easily found by heading SW from the junction near the Crousa Common stones. Continue down the lane for about half a mile. If you come to a small collection of houses on the left, you’ve passed the stone!
The Tide Stone sits in a small piece of rough ground and is accessed via a small wooden garden gate set into the hedge. The stone can be seen from the road, though I imagine it would be quite hidden in high summer.
Tide Stone gate
Tide Stone approach
On approaching the stone, it appears as an earth-fast triangular lump, and up close, on the rear left hidden from the approach view is the reason for the name of the stone.
A depression contains a quantity of water. It is said that the level of the water rises and lowers with the tides. On my visit it looked as if the water was lower by about an inch from it’s highest mark within the depression, indicating a falling tide at the coast a mile or so away.
Tide Stone basin
There is apparently a perfectly sound geological reason for this phenomenon, to do with water tables and underground pressure, as documented in the original article, and the strange behaviour is not unique to this stone or indeed to this area.
It would be interesting to speculate on whether ancient man in prehistory would have been aware of such tidal stones, and if so, what use would have been made of them.
If you are aware of any similar stones, please let us know in the comments.
(All photos © Alan S.)