Mystery of marriage proposal set in stone

The Proposal Stone at Simonside.
The Proposal Stone at Simonside.
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Ahead of Valentine’s Day, Northumberland National Park is calling on the public to help them solve the mystery of a marriage proposal carved into an ancient rock.

Dubbed The Proposal Stone, folklore has it that a young suitor carved his proposal of marriage into the stone, on Simonside, near Rothbury, and took his beloved there to pop the question in a truly magnificent setting.

Some say it dates back to the 1920s, but the truth is nobody seems to know its origins or the lovers associated with it.

The proposal is carved discreetly into the stone at the side of the trail which leads to Simonside’s iconic rocky ridge.

The lover’s inscription simply reads: Will you marry me? with the initials K and J.

Fast forward to the present day and the special location remains a source of inspiration and romance.

Last year, the acclaimed English poet Simon Armitage wrote a poem centred around the mystery as part of a collection of six new poems inspired by hidden places which span the length and breadth of Northumberland National Park.

The poems have not been published and only exist as voice recordings. To experience them, visitors should download the Poems in the Air mobile app at www.poemsintheair.co.uk
They will then be able to activate the recordings on their mobile phone or tablet once they’ve arrived at each poem’s specific location.

Mandy Roberts, Northumberland National Park engagement officer, said: “The mystery of The Proposal Stone inscription is one we’ve never been able to solve.

“It’s such a romantic gesture which has stood the test of time and continues to spark the imagination of people who discover it today, whether it’s quite by accident, word of mouth or through Simon’s poetry.

“We’d love to hear from anyone if they have information on the origins of the inscription and who the couple behind it might be.

“We’d also like people to get in touch if the stone and beauty of Simonside has inspired them or someone they know to pop the question to their intended.”

If you have any information, contact rosie.thomas@nnpa.org.uk