Calderstones chambered tomb in Allerton is thought to date from the late
neolithic/early bronze age. Axes of the late Neolithic period have been
found in Toxteth, West Derby, Woolton, and Wavertree. Carved stones
from this period are very rare and few exist in England and Wales, the
other good example is on Anglesey in the burial chamber at
Barclodiad y Gawres.
Three of the stones
Little is known
about the Calderstones until the 1800's when it was reported that, "...in
digging about them, urns made of the coarsest clay, containing human dust
and bones, have been discovered, there is reason to believe that they
indicate an ancient burying- place"
Standing stone believed to have been erected as a cattle scratching post
In 1845 the stones were re-erected inside low circular wall which still lies at the entrance to the park opposite Druids Cross Road. It was originally believed that they were once a circle.
The stone ring opposite Druids Cross Road
stones were also treated as a circle by Professor Sir James Simpson in
1864 when he examined the cup and ring marks carved on their surface. He
called the stones a 'small megalithic circle' his study concentrated on
the art work which he concluded to be the work of 'archaic man'.
1954 the City council decided to remove the stones for cleaning and
of the surviving stones inside the palm house showing spiral and cupmarks
six surviving stones are of local sandstone and their sizes range from
approximately eight feet (2.4 metres) to three feet (1 metre) high. The markings were again analysed and latex moulds were made of the
stones and carvings which highlighted other worn carvings which were not
Cupmark and spiral carvings on the Calder stones
The carvings were placed into six categories; spirals, concentric circles, arcs, cup marks, cup and ring marks and footprints. Several of the carvings are similar to those found in Anglesey, such as at Barclodiad y Gawres.
The footprint carvings are more unusual however, and
are rarely associated with megalithic tombs. These prints are even more unusual
when looked at closely as they both have an extra finger and toe. The "modern" boot
carvings shown below date from Victorian times when some shoes had a
characteristic flat shape on the toes. The ranger also pointed out some
modern scratched initials "JL" that some visitors got very
excited about as the Beatles grew up near here.
It is fairly certain that the Calder Stones were originally part of a burial chamber. The six large stones recovered may have formed the central chamber. One, with cupmarks, looks like a capstone shape.
1964 the six stones were moved to their present site in the Harthill
Greenhouse in Calderstones Park where they were erected in random order.
For more about Calderstones click here