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

White Moor Stone Circle

Stone Circle


After leaving Cosdon stone row (23.4.2011) under a brilliant blue sky and blazing heat, we head off the bridleway and slightly up on to the slopes of Cosdon Hill itself. This provides a welcome breeze, but also allows us a better view of the route ahead. The bridleway curves westwards then back to the south, plotting a course between the bog of Raybarrow Pool and the slope of Little Hound Tor. We cut directly south, heading for the Tor, but still have to negotiate some squelching as we round the Pool. As others have mentioned, if you're coming in anything but very dry weather make sure you've got waterproof boots!

All such concerns are swept away as we round the shoulder of Little Hound Tor. The outlying White Moor Stone comes into view first, silhouetted against the sky, then the circle itself appears. Wow! What an absolute belter. I practically run down the hill with a big grin on my face.

It's a fairly big circle if you're used to the cairn circles of this area, but nowhere near the size of the biggest Dartmoor rings. All but one of the stones are erect (or at least leaning), only one in the southern arc lies fallen. It has a wonderful setting, lying below various tors but still boasting awesome views, particularly to the west where Dartmoor's two mountains - High Willhays and Yes Tor - fill the skyline.

The outlier is larger than anything in the circle, standing at about 6 feet high (I didn't measure it) but leaning over slightly. It is a chunky slab, the long side doesn't line up on the circle. The boundaries of three parishes meet here and the stone has incised initials relating to the Duchy of Cornwall (DC), Throwleigh Parish (TP) and Tawton (T).

Back to the circle. I'd agree entirely with Gladman's assessment. This is a megalithic wonder, a brilliant site (and I may give it the nod over Down Tor). Its remoteness, setting and general condition place this is in the front rank of stone circles I have visited.

We linger for a good while, only seeing one other walker and a pair of cyclists (who seem taken aback as they come upon the circle, then cycle right through the centre) while we are here. Given that this is a scorching hot Saturday in the middle of Easter weekend, even we few visitors are probably more than you might find here on most days.

Eventually we head off, climbing over Little Hound Tor itself, before heading northwest to the White Hill Bronze Age settlement. I really hope to come back here again.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
26th April 2011ce
Edited 26th April 2011ce

Comments (2)

This is my favourite circle, been here about 50 times over the years and spent many an hour sitting against one or other of the stones. It's a great walk, which ever direction you arrive from. My favourite route was starting at Shilstone Tor, heading over Throwleigh Common, crossing Blackaton Brook and heading for the Stone Rows at the foot of Cosdon. Then head straight up the side of Cosdon to the cairns on the summit. Then a straight walk to Little Hound Tor. Back via the Whitmoor Stone, skirt the boggy area and head straight over Kennon Hill and back over Throwleigh Common.
Most people just walk by without even bothering to stop and look.....
Meic Posted by Meic
28th January 2012ce
Yep, it's a real beauty. Almost up there in my esteem with the West Penwith moorland circles. Would definitely like to get back here again. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
28th January 2012ce
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