Devil’s arrows are stones flung by the Devil in attempts to destroy towns and churches. According to lore, the Devil usually has bad marksmanship, and the stones miss their mark and stick upright in the air. The Devil’s Arrow is an alignment of three standing stones near Boroughbridge, Yorkshire, England. The stones were quarried, and the reason they were placed in a 570-foot-long alignment is not known. The tallest is 22.5 feet high. The Devil, angry at the people of the nearby town of Aldborough, went up to the top of Howe Hill and fired off three giant arrows of stone, intent on demolishing the town. The stones fell harmlessly to Earth and stuck upright in a straight line.
Also in Yorkshire, a monolith stands up from the graves beside an old Norman church at Rudston. The stone is 25.5 feet high, six feet wide, and about two feet thick, weighing about 40 tons. It may have once marked a pagan sacred site, and the church may have been built around it. The local legend says that the Devil threw the stone at the church in an attempt to destroy it but missed.
- Bord, Janet, and Colin Bord. Mysterious Britain. London: Granada, 1974.