A Natural Marvel? The Blowing Stone

Hi, Mr. Nature here, tackling this report because Mr. Folklore took the noon balloon.

The “Blowing Stone” of Kingston Lisle, Oxfordshire, England, is a rather large boulder with holes in it. One of the holes goes all the way through. And if you blow on it, as on a trumpet, the resulting call can be heard for miles around.

The hole through the stone is apparently due to natural causes. I don’t know how anyone would have ever thought, “I wonder what would happen if I blew on this.” Maybe a freak twist of the wind made it sound, and someone was there to observe it. There’s a legend that whoever blew on the stone so that it could be heard from a famous hilltop, some miles away, would be the next king of England. There’s also a legend that says King Alfred blew on the stone to summon his warriors to fight the invading Danes.

It’s near the White Horse of Uffington, but really, Mr. Folklore will have to field that one, it’s way beyond Mr. Nature’s scope.

Today the Blowing Stone rests beside the Blowing Stone Inn. It was brought there from another location sometime in the 18th century, and first appeared on a map in 1761.

We often talk about the music made by nature, with God as its conductor; but this is the first I’ve heard of a natural musical instrument.

Unless you want to count the “ringing rocks.” But that’s another story.

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