Mysterious hidden message inscribed on Liverpool roundabout

A sunken roundabout near the entrance to Calderstones Park has baffled people with its mysterious, half-hidden message that has become obscured by concrete.

The roundabout is a small raised, circular wall at the junction of Druids Cross Road and Calderstones Road in Allerton.

At the side of the wall is a submerged stone plaque that starts off with the words “The Calderstones” but only the top of the letters of the next line of the inscription is visible as the rest is buried beneath ground.

However, local historian John Reppion has revealed that the full inscription reads: “The Calderstones, Enclosed and Planted 1845”.

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The site of the roundabout itself is where the decorated sandstone monoliths, known as the Calderstones were put on display as a gateway feature in 1845.

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These ancient stones, known as the Calderstones, are thought to be part of a Neolithic chambered tomb constructed approximately 4,000 years ago.

Little was known about the stones until the 18th century when they are thought to have been disturbed by builders.

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When they were excavated in 1825, urns made of clay containing human bones were found in the ground around them.

The original message on the stone plaque read: 'The Calderstones, Enclosed and Planted 1845'

The six surviving stones are made of local sandstone and their sizes range from approximately eight by three feet to three and a half by two and a half feet.

Strange markings and symbols are carved into the stones that fall into six categories: spirals, concentric circles, arcs, cup marks, cup and ring marks and footprints.

The roundabout at Druid's Cross Road and Calderstones Road near the entrance to Calderstones Park

There is also evidence of post-medieval and modern graffiti.

Initially thought to be the remains of a druid circle, opinion on their use changed in the 19th century when the Victorian’s concluded that the stones were part of a dolmen, which is a megalithic tomb, dating from 4000 to 3000 BC.

They remained at the roundabout for 109 years before being removed in 1954 by Liverpool Corporation to prevent them from further weathering.

The carved stones, thought to be older than Stonehenge, were rehoused in Harthill Greenhouses in Calderstones Park where they remain to this day.

Prehistoric artwork adorns some of the huge stones in Calderstones Park. Picture for Dan Longman Calderstones feature, Liverpool ECHO 040616

However, the Calderstones are not the only monument to the region's neolithic period left standing in a Liverpool street.

The Robin Hood stone is a two-metre-high monolithic stone that can found within a set of railings on the corner of Booker Avenue and Archerfield Road in Allerton.

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Engraved at the base of the stone is a collection of concentric carved rings with circular 'cups' at their centre, and similar designs can be found across the west and north of Britain and in Ireland too.

It’s been suggested that the stone could be part of the collection that made up the Calderstones and that a farmer brought this stone to this field to let his grazing animals scratch themselves on it.

Robin Hood's Stone at the corner of Booker Avenue and Archerfield Road

Why is it called Robin Hood's Stone?

It is, of course, is a reference to the famous archer of Sherwood Forest, and this comes from the long grooves in the rock.

Legend has it that the long grooves in the rock were made by medieval archers sharpening their arrowheads on the stone when practising their aim.

There's no evidence that this is true but it does add another interesting layer of mythology to the stone.

After it was placed inside the railings, a bronze plaque was attached which reads:

"This Monolith known as Robin Hood’s Stone, stood in a field named the Stone Hey at a spot 280 feet bearing North from its present position, to which it was moved in August 1928. The arrow below indicates the direction of the original site. This side of the stone formerly faced South".