Hove Park

Origins and myths of The Goldstone

By Jennifer Drury

Devil's Dyke myths

There are various myths concerned with the formation of Devil’s Dyke and the huge rock named the ‘Goldstone’ which was so named because of the hints of gold in its makeup, The legend goes that when the Devil was digging a trench which would allow the sea to flood the many local churches, he stubbed his toe on the rock and in anger kicked it over the hills. The rock landed in what is now known as Goldstone Valley.

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Photo:The recovery of the Goldstone in 1900

The recovery of the Goldstone in 1900

Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

Photo:The Goldstone in Hove Park

The Goldstone in Hove Park

Photo by Sussexonian: Creative Commons licence


Unearthed in September 1900

The 'Goldstone' stood for many years in farmland at Goldstone Bottom. But in the early 19th century the theory was proposed that it was in fact a sacred stone of the Druids. This led to large numbers of people visiting the site where it was found, and causing damage to the surrounding farm crops. In the early 1830's Mr. William Marsh Rigden, the landowner, buried the stone and the smaller surrounding stones, to protect his land from the sightseers. The stones lay buried until 29th. September 1900 when William Hollamby, one of the Hove Commissioners, discovered their position and had them unearthed. In 1906 the stones were put on display in the newly opened Hove Park.

This page was added on 14/03/2012.

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