The Hele Stone Or Friar's Heel
This stone, as being the largest of this group of three, and such a
conspicuous feature in the structure, demands something more than mere
passing mention. It is a monolith of unwrought stone standing sixteen
feet high. Such untrimmed stones are to be found all the world over in
connection with religious rites. Even the Jews were not untainted with
this early cult of stone worship.
Among the smooth stones
of the valley is thy portion; they are thy
lot; even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, hast thou offered
a meat offering, writes Isaiah.
In Christian times the custom continued. The Council of Tours as late
as A.D. 657 categorically excluded from Christianity all worshippers
of upright stones; while later, Canute forbade the barbarous worship
of stones, trees, fountains, and heavenly bodies. At once, therefore,
this huge unwrought monolith suggests religion, and probably one of
the earliest, and most primitive forms of worship. And thus being
obviously connected with non-Christian rites, it is not surprising to
find that it has a devil-legend attaching to it.