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Wiltshire, England, is a county known for its ancient monuments, amongst them Avebury, Stonehenge and Woodhenge, Silbury Hill and various White Horses. One of the smallest and most overlooked of these sites is the Blood Stone, situated in the center of a sheep infested valley between Westbury White Horse Hill and Picket Hill in Bratton, on the edge of Salisbury Plain.

The stone itself is about three feet across, two feet high and a dark, scabby red in colour. It's said that the stone was one of those used by King Alfred's men as a block upon which to behead Danish prisoners of war after the Battle of Ethendune of AD 878, which is how it is supposed to have got its particular shade. There are even paired indentations in the surface of the rock, which look uncannily like the marks left by a pair of front teeth.

There is archeological evidence to suggest that it really is an ancient execution site since a large pile of headless skeletons, dated to around that time, were excavated from the nearby watercress beds at the bottom of the valley in the 1970s. The skulls were found a half mile away, buried upside-down, apparently according to the Saxon tradition that if a soul escaped through the top of the head it could be thus trapped into heading straight down into the bowels of the Earth.

There were quite a few of these stones dotted around the valley up until the nineteenth century, but only one remains today. It is mostly visited now by villagers walking their dogs and in need of something to sit upon, and local children, who revel in local myths about the stone, (such as the idea that the Devil appears when you walk round it backwards thirteen times, reciting the Lord's Prayer, (backwards also, if possible, natch)...)

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