Park feature could be an Ice Age glacial deposit, or is it a medieval boundary marker?

St Helens Star: The Sutton Park boulder is a candidate for listing The Sutton Park boulder is a candidate for listing

LAST week’s letter from Steve Scott of Parr regarding the huge boulder near the entrance to Sutton Park brought an interesting response.

Former Sutton St Anne’s pupil Walter Smith, who will celebrate his 77th birthday in June, recalls happy times playing in the park when the boulder was surrounded by metal railings.

Walter, who now lives at Ashton-in-Makerfield, told the Star: “There was also a cast iron plaque saying it was found 120 yards away near the Robin Lane entrance and that it was left there from the Ice Age.

"Flat at the bottom it has scars showing that it was dragged to Sutton by a glacier and it probably came 75 miles away from the Lake District which is the nearest place where you find that type of mineral.

"The wrought iron railings weren’t removed for the war effort because it was thought it was unsafe to do so."

Stephen Wainwright, who operates the informative Sutton Beauty & Heritage website, kindly provided the boulder image shown here.

He said: "There are two schools of thought about the origins of the boulder. Some believe it to be a glacier boulder which was brought down from the Lake District or possibly Scotland by ice glaciers during the last ice age. This would place it as being at least 12,000 years old.

"However in the late Frank Bamber's book, 'Clog Clatters of Old Sutton', which is freely available to download from Sutton Beauty & Heritage, he argues that it is a twelfth century boundary stone known as the Harston. Surprisingly the glacier boulder or 'Harston' is not a listed structure. I’d love to see the boulder carbon dated to find out its true age. It is one of the oldest features of the district.”

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