Once again I was desperate to free myself of the shackles of the 9-5. The old sod of Kent was calling and so I resigned myself to a trip to the Countless Stones. This monument, now in ruins, a shadow of its former glory stands almost forgotten on the Rochester road, shortly before the turning into Pratling Street as you head towards Aylesford village. The countless stones, so named as it is said its impossible to count them and come up with the same number every time, are also known as Little Kits Coty (that’s the ‘official title’ due to its proximity to Kits Coty House).
Unlike the other sites I have discussed in previous Fleeting Visits I find this site cold, the stones themselves still hold the memory of their former hosts, those long forgotten inhabitants of the Medway Valley who erected them back in the neolithic deep within their hearts. Yet I feel nature doesn’t live here anymore. A chest high iron fence has been erected around the stones to segregate them off from the farm land which they rest upon and Elder, Dog Rose, Hawthorn, Honeysuckle, Nettle and Morning Glory feverishly clamber over the railings in a last stitch attempt to regain access to the land, barred by iron…nature fights her way through but to no avail. Or maybe she is seeks to hide them once more…?
Overhead electricity cables spitefully crackle and hiss with a voice of victory over the place which would have once been held most sacred joining towering pylon to towering pylon which stretch off into the distance, beyond the modern megalith of Allington incinerator. I feel a sense of Sadness here, unlike other sites where despite their age they still speak and share their wisdom with all who have ears to hear and eyes to see. The Countless Stones however seem to have been beaten into submission by years of agricultural damage, heavy articulates plundering past and electrical interference. Yet there is still a whisper in the wind, as long as there are some who will speak to the mighty dead who were buried here and remember them they will never be truly silenced.
Nature, whilst apparently barred keeps her watchful eye in the form of two rageddy old Elder Trees roughly on the Eastern and Southern boundary which rustle and creak in response to a humble offering from one’s own lunch box and rest assured the old dog rose, guarding the western entrance to the site still bares flower and fruit, reminding me of the greatest of truths which await us all, even when we too are long forgotten.
This is truly a place of rememberence and like our modern Rememberance Day memorials laden with Paper Poppies, each time i visit the countless stones I am reminded of the Unnamed soldier, My grandparents and ancestors who were and are yet to be…’Lest We Forget’