The Coronation Stone

Kingston has a stone on which it said that the Seven Saxon Kings were crowned in the tenth century. The only other known Coronation Stone in the United Kingdom is the Stone of Scone which was used to crown Monarchs at Westminster Abbey from 1296 AD. It was returned to its home in Scotland in 1996 AD.

Kingston’s Coronation stone clearly predates this. Made of Greywether sandstone or sarsen – the same stone that was used to create some of the uprights at Stonehenge – the Stone now stands to the right of the Guildhall in High Street as you face the building.

The Stone may have originally been kept in the Saxon Chapel of St Mary, which used to abut All Saints Parish Church on the Market Place side. The Chapel collapsed in 1730, undermined by grave-digging. The Sexton was killed, and his daughter, Esther Hammerton, was injured. She survived and became Kingston’s sextoness. The Stone was later used as a mounting block for horsemen in the Market Place. In 1850 it was set, with great ceremony, on a special base, surrounded by ornamental railings and placed to the south of the Market Place. The names of the seven kings were written around the base. The seven kings were: Edward the Elder, Athelstan, Edmund, Edred, Edwy, Edward the Martyr, and Ethelred. It was moved to its present position after the building of the Guildhall in 1935.

 

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