This beautiful little cairn circle has been seriously damaged by a fire being lit in the central kist, you can see by the photos that the stones have been badly scorched, and it looks like the peat infill repairs from the 1993 fire damage has been dug out. These images are from August 2008, i hope that further damage has not occurred since. I am susprised that this is allowed to take place, considering its close proximity to the road, where are the Dartmoor forest rangers or local farmers when this is happening?
A nice little sanitised 'circle', easily accessible from the main Mortonhampsted to Twobridges rd.
The other name I have for it is Runnage Circle. The central kist was badly damaged by campers lighting a fire within it in 1993 and has since been in filled with turf to prevent any similar incidents.
The Circle is a sweet spot – falsely so, sadly, due to the shelter and screening effect of the 60-year old plantation – but has fine views to the south and southwest. Jeremy Butler in Volume 5 of the Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities highlights that there was a triple stone row associated with the circle, but alas it has now gone – "site only: vicinity overplanted" - vanished beneath the serried ranks of pine. The grid reference of the row is listed as SX676799; well inside the plantation proper, half a mile or so northwards up the slope of Soussons Common: we looked, but in vain. Surrounded by conifers on three sides, it's difficult to see how the Circle may have looked in a cleaner landscape, but the row would most likely have been visible further up the hill.
The circle is described as a cairn circle; a delineating ring of closely-spaced (but not touching) small stones that enclosed a cairn-covered kist. However, to me it looks more like a kerb circle; a kist burial once covered by a more shallow stone covering (see Note below). I acknowledge that this difference may be nit-picking…...
The strange name of Ephraim's Pinch is attached to a spot a little south east of the circle and is the result of a wager many years ago when a man named Ephraim bet that he could carry a sack of corn from Widecombe to Postbridge without putting it down en route, a distance of some 5 miles. It was at the nearby bend in the road that he finally felt the 'pinch' of his heavy load on his back and had to drop the sack.