The first of the "proper" Dartmoor circles I've visited, Brisworthy is brilliant, even in the 45 degree rain. It's set on a sloping hillside, and the eye is immediately drawn to Legis Tor across the valley to the east. It reminds me of other circles that have intervisible rocky outcrops nearby – Boskednan/Carn Galva; Tregeseal/Carn Kenidjack; Nine Ladies/Robin Hood's Stride. All of these must have been built to sit as part of the bigger natural landscape, it's an unavoidable connection. The stones of the circle are nicely graded too, and around its outside (particularly on the east) I notice that there are quite a number of small quartz stones in the ground, almost as if there was an outer ring. Be interested to know what anyone else makes of that (if anything!).
Brisworthy stone circle reminded me a lot of Fernworthy in size of stones, diameter and 'feel'. But whereas Fernworthy is held suffocated by trees, Brisworthy is free to breathe and today was bathed in warm sunshine. It seems to have a close relationship with a nearby tor. It's on private land and we had to climb over a fence to get to it. Liked it here!
Directions - I basically agree with the travel instructions on the Megalithic Walks link below. However, the hamlet of Brisworthy is definitely not the organised little cluster as the OS map suggests. It's basically a couple of very rough working farms and a few houses, so parking is not clear or in abundance. And just to clarify that after walking up the lane there only seems to be one way out of that parcel of land, towards the stone circle. As the short lane ends keep towards the left hand wall of the field (signposted as the official path) and a stile leads you into the large field / moor land, circa SX562654 (i.e. there doesn't seem to be a way out of this land directly towards to the circle). People with disabilities may obviously struggle with this stile. There is a gate next to it, but it was padlocked.
You'll then find the circle 300 metres, due east, near the field boundary. This is clearly the 'show' circle in this area. South West Dartmoor has several cairn circles, and stones in some sort of circle, but this is the only really showy stone circle.
After several days of rain, I was blessed with sun tan weather which really made a rest at the stones a lovely prospect. Views towards Trowlesorthy (south east) and Legis Tor (east) are brilliant. With a keen eye the Stone Circle can be spotted from the Trowlesorthy area, partly hidden by some of the very few trees in the area.
Technically this doesn't seem to be Access Land, but the chances of anyone stopping you seem remote, assuming you're following the basic rules of the countryside.
(SX 56476549) Stone Circle (NR) (1)
An 80ft diameter stone circle known as Brisworthy Circle composed of 22 stones (Plan). Prior to restoration in 1909 eighteen of these stones had fallen over. A "not very thorough" excavation yielded a small amount of charcoal and one rough flint flake. All the stones are broad, rather than pillars and in this circle is unusual (4). (2-4)
This stone circle stands on a south east facing slope at 270m OD. It comprises a slightly ovoid setting of 24 upright stones which are probably only half the original number. The survivors are placed very regularly, the largest measuring 1.4m x 0.9m x 0.7m high, the smallest 0.3m x 0.6m x 0.2m high. The mean internal diameter of the circle is 24.0m Surveyed at 1:10 000 on PFD with amendments to pre-restoration survey. (5) The circle has been re-surveyed by Prof Thom. (See illus card 2) (6) This feature is generally as described by Authority 5 though now possesses 25 in situ stones. (7)
Just to clarify access to this site, the 2005 edition of the OS Explorer Map OL28 shows the circle to be on access land as is the whole of Ringmoor Down *except* the fields immediately south of the circle.
Four colour photos and links to other Dartmoor circles. Here's a snip from site...
Brisworthy is a very attractive site and a pleasant place to sit especially as there was a short burst of sunshine when we reached it making a break from a misty and overcast day. The circle is over 80ft (24.8m) diameter and made up of 27 stones from an original 42. They are grey granite, some with quartz veins running through them and large quartz crystals in them. There are several loose stones that have been added to the circle.