A MASSIVE army operation was set up to return a mysterious ancient stone back to its original location.
Soldiers from the Territorial Army in Prestatyn descended on a Bagillt field in order to move the Garreg Etab, or ‘answering stone’, back to the position it once occupied overlooking the River Dee.
The TA was contacted by the Bagillt Heritage Society, who found the stone 100 feet away from where it should have originally stood, and they accepted a request to help move it using heavy machinery.
Major Helena Roberts said: “We were approached by the heritage society and asked if we could restore the stone to its normal position.
“It came at a good time because the reserves are recruiting at the moment so our captain said we should do it.”
Soldiers spent about five hours on Friday strapping up the stone and moving it back, but Major Roberts said they were happy to get involved.
She said: “We have got the local connection because we are from Prestatyn, and many of the lads are local and have heard of the stone’s existence.
“It’s great to be involved in community engagement projects because all of our soldiers are from the community and the community supports us and it’s wonderful to give something back.”
The project was lead by Warrant Officer Chris Worral, and members of the 119 Recovery Company.
Heritage Society member Barry Doleman said the purpose of the stone when originally erected, in a field close to the Old Bagillt Road, is a total mystery.
He said: “We may never know who brought the stone here or who erected it.
“How it arrived 100 feet down the side of a Welsh meadow and who tossed it there may never be fully explained, but it didn’t deserve to stay there.
“Some years ago a young geologist, upon examining the stone, declared the only place the stone could possibly come from was Penmaenmawr.
“If that’s the case, who would possibly want to struggle all that way to Bagillt?”
Since the stone’s discovery after a three year search, the society has considered a range of explanations as to the purpose of the stone.
Mr Doleman said: “Were they part of a Druid place of worship?
“Were they situated on a ley line?
“It was known to return echoes which attracted bulls in the mating season.”
He said the stone could also have links to a Roman road which is close by, or with an ancient battlefield.