Coronation Stone

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Coordinates: 51°24′29″N 0°18′22″W / 51.40806°N 0.30611°W / 51.40806; -0.30611

For Scotland's Coronation Stone, see Stone of Scone. For the Irish Coronation Stone, see Lia Fáil. For the Swedish Coronation Stones, see Stones of Mora.
Coronation Stone, Kingston-upon-Thames

The Coronation Stone is an ancient sarsen stone block which is believed to have been the site of the coronation of seven Anglo-Saxon kings. It is now located next to the Guildhall in Kingston upon Thames, England. Kingston is now a town in the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames in London and was once the county town of Surrey.

In Old English, tun, ton or don meant farmstead or settlement, so the name Kingston appears to mean farmstead of the kings. A local legend that these Saxon coronations gave Kingston its name is contradicted by the records of the 838 council.[1]

Æthelstan was consecrated king at Kingston in 925, Eadred in 946 and Æthelred the Unready in 979. There is also some evidence that Edward the Elder, Edmund I, Eadwig and Edward the Martyr were consecrated in the town. According to John Stow, writing in the late sixteenth century, Æthelstan was crowned on a stage in the market place, but it was later believed that the kings were crowned in the ancient church of St Mary, which collapsed in 1730. A large stone block was recovered soon afterwards from the ruins of the chapel, and it has since been regarded as the 'Coronation Stone'. It was at first used as a mounting block, but in 1850 it was placed in the market place on a plinth which had the names of the seven kings believed to have been crowned on it inscribed around the side.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Dickens, Charles, Jr. (1994) [1887, 1879]. Dickens's Dictionary of the Thames, 1887 (facsimile ed.). Devon: Old House Books. ISBN 1-873590-12-1. 
  2. ^ *Keynes, Simon (2001). "Kingston-upon-Thames". In Michael Lapidge, John Blair, Simon Keynes and Donald Scragg. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 978-0-6312-2492-1.