I was once driving back home from Bamburgh in Northumberland and came across the amazing site of a giant megalith in the churchyard of a Norman church. I had no idea why there was an enormous - obviously ancient - standing stone in such close proximity to a beautiful old church. I had to stop and have a closer look.
The Rudston Monolith at over 7.6 metres (25 ft) is the tallest megalith (standing stone) in the United Kingdom. It is situated in the churchyard in the village of Rudston in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
The monument dates to the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age period. There is one other smaller stone, of the same type, in the churchyard, which was once situated near the large stone. The Norman church was almost certainly intentionally built on a site that was already considered sacred, a practice common through the country – indeed the name of Rudston is thought to come from the Old English "Rood-stane", meaning "cross-stone", implying that a stone already venerated was adapted for Christian purposes.
There are many other prehistoric monuments in the area, including four cursuses, three of which appear to converge towards the site of the monolith.