by Joe Earp
The site that is now referred to as the Cat Stones, was discovered by Frank Earp and Peter Hannah in the late 1960’s. The site, which on the north east slope of Catstone Hill Strelley, consists of a large ‘pillar’ of native sandstone bedrock, shaped rather like the top of the Hemlock Stone. In 1940, this stone was, in a new-paper article, mistakenly identified as being the Cat Stone. However, the real Cat Stone which gave the hill its name was around 200 yards to the south on the opposite slope. The pillar stands on the western side of a shallow kidney shaped depression which also contains 4 large earth-fast conglomerate boulders, one smaller boulder and a coffin shaped stone. Two of the boulders lay close to the base of the pillar, (south side), two, (one of which had a notch or rove cut along its upper surface) stood a few meters to the north, together with the smaller boulder and coffin shaped stone.
In the late 1990’s, the two large boulders to the north were ‘up-rooted’ from the ground. These proved to be much larger than they appeared, with a greater mass under the surface than above.
Now Frank Earp claims that someone has ‘uprooted’ the ‘Notch Stone’ which was positioned roughly in the middle of the stone complex. The stone is believed to have been moved to the opposite side of the hill, very near to where the original “cat stone” used to sit.
On Saturday 23 March 2013, Frank Earp led a field trip around Strelley and to the Catstones. Despite the bad snow and mud, the walk went ahead as planned and was a very successful day. Below are some photos from the day: