The Blowing Stone is a perforated sarsen stone, located at grid reference in a garden at the foot of Blowingstone Hill just south of the Icknield Way (B4507), at Kingston Lisle, near Uffington, in the English county of Oxfordshire (formerly Berkshire).
The stone is capable of producing a booming sound, when anyone with the required skill blows into one of the perforations in a particular way. This was, according to legend, the means whereby King Alfred summoned his Saxon troops, in readiness for the nearby Battle of Ashdown, against the Vikings. This legend reputedly gives rise to the village’s name, ‘King’s stone’, the Lisle suffix being a later addition.
Also, according to legend, a person who is capable of making the blowing stone sound a note that is audible atop Uffington White Horse Hill (where Victorian antiquarians thought King Alfred’s troops had camped) will be a future King of England.
The stone is mentioned in the Thomas Hughes novel Tom Brown’s Schooldays and is referred to therein as the Blawing Stwun. In the same work, the village is called Kingstone Lisle.
It is also one of the ‘sacred stones’ mentioned in William Horwood’s Duncton Wood, the first book in his fantasy fiction series about a group of moles.
- David Nash Ford, (2003), Royal Berkshire History: The Blowing Stone, Nash Ford Publishing.