The Blessing Stone, with its massive retaining wall, keeping it free to echo down the centuries
The blessing stone

The ‘Blessing Stone’ or ‘Answering Stone’ is a large stone beside the bank of the River Teifi at St Dogmaels, Ceredigion, where the fishing fleet was ‘traditionally’ (i.e. made-up legend) blessed in medieval times (i.e. back in them-days) by the Abbot of the Tironian house of St Dogmaels nearby (supposedly). It is tempting to imagine that this stone was once part of a prehistoric megalith and there is an entire heritage signboard dedicated to this notion. Either way, it is a fabulous acoustic effect coincidental with the location of the stone: if you shout across the river, you hear an…. echo….

Archaeodeath readers: this is a negative case to make a positive point. Much is written about megaliths and their mortuary uses. If this stone had ever had a funerary function is unclear, but there are riverine situations where megaliths are known in SW Wales, as at Carreg Coeten Arther as discussed here. However, large stones needn’t always be funerary in function or use, and not all megaliths need to be associated with death and the devil. Here we have a perfectly good folkloric attribution that is communal, positive and Christian: this particular stone has become all about life and regeneration: fish, faith and community.

The Teifi from the Blessing Stone
The stone in use