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

Stall Moor


William Crossing, in his 1900 'Stones of Dartmoor' gave the following explanation of the stones of Stall Moor.

One Sunday afternoon a group of girls set off across the moor - once out of sight of the farmhouses they began to dance. This was of course extremely naughty as it was the sabbath day, when they should have been doing good or resting, not enjoying themselves. They accosted a young man and invited him to dance with them. Cheekily he refused to dance, saying that he would only play 'Kiss in the Ring'. So the girls formed a circle and (one imagines) they played by him chosing one of them by touching her shoulder, then running off round the ring until she caught and kissed him. However things got a bit out of hand and the girls started grabbing and kissing him out of turn, so he demurely ran off, and they followed, running in a long line. As is usually the way, these transgressors of the Sabbath got turned into stone for their behaviour, and you can see them as the stones of the circle and the row. William Crossing rather bizarrely suggests that perhaps they were petrified for failing to abide by the rules of a game. So no cheating next time you're playing ludo.

(I have compiled this from a summary of Crossing's original story in Westwood and Simpson's 'Lore of the Land' (2005))
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
20th February 2006ce

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