Stone Lands combines folklore, history and archaeology with insights from a range of interesting stones enthusiasts, from Morris dancers, dowsers and pagans to artists, musicians and walkers to archivists and archaeologists. Describing her decades long personal quest to explore the standing stones of Britain, it emphasises the wellbeing benefits that visiting ancients sites can bring, offering a way of connecting with nature, the past and ancient ways of being. Threaded through the book is the story of Fiona’s experiences of megalith hunting with her husband, Stephen, who she lost to cancer. While this story of loss and grief provides a narrative arc, this is a book very much about finding joy and embracing life whatever troubles we face. Fiona celebrates the empowering nature of megalith hunting, a hobby that, in her opinion, offers a profound way of interacting with our collective past and individual fates. Most of all she makes the point that tramping through fields in search of standing stones is just a huge amount of FUN.
There is a revival of megalith enthusiasm at the moment, which Fiona positions within the growth of movements such as Right to Roam, which promotes access to the countryside for all, and the work of artists such as Ben Edge, who sees visiting standing stones as a political act, enabling people of all backgrounds to find a common community in the pre-colonial deep past.