The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Stone Circle


Scorhill.. and a little nearby Magik.

Acclaimed since antiquity as a fine site some guide books will tell you its been much diminished by the removal of stones and much of its mystery has been dissipated by the addition of a cart track through one edge of the ring. So much for guide books. I think its a stunner and whatever prompted the oldies to build it here still lingers.
My first visit was last summer. The week before the total solar eclipse and the local press was full of horror stories about bands of crusties turning up at stone circles to worship the magikal properties of Special Brew.
The trip to Scorhill through Chagford and Gidleigh is hard in a big car. Some of Devon's narrowest lanes and overgrowing hedge rows impede progress. There is also the smallest bridge on the planet, wing mirror scrapping stuff.
On this fine August evening access on the lane leading to the site was further restricted by some self important retired major type who had erected posts to stop vehicles of a certain size. A row ensued and I got through, its narrow but its still a public right of way. I suppose the old boy thought his little corner of England was about to become Woodstock. Whatever. I was not in the right frame of mind as I walked up and across the moor to the site. But Scorhill was worth the hassle.
On high moor free from human intervention it .... well.... it broods. Built in a dip in the land you are physically drawn into the circle as you approach. That's gravity for you, and something else besides. Inside the circle at the centre , a definite sensation... pressure drop. The birds, I swear, stopped singing, the insects stopped insecting. Very nice. Return trips yielded similar results.
On one trip in the company of a very wise woman I saw the most impressive sun set/star fall I have ever seen in years of tramping the moors.
She also revealed a close by natural magik site. If you got to the circle by driving up to Gidleigh and walking up onto the moor then after the circle keep walking but veering very slightly left (ie in the direction of Shovel Down ) for about 300 yards. You will find a large stream and standing in the water is a huge bolder with a hole eroded through it. A big hag stone. A natural Men An Tol. Climbing up onto the stone and dropping through the hole is said to cure arthritis and aid fertility.
I should imagine the stone was probably there before the circle and may have helped in the selection of the site. I didn't go through the hole, wet weather made it tricky. Besides which I don't have arthritis, or the desire to reproduce.
Posted by KPH
4th July 2000ce

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