The good news for juamei is that the other stones are still there. The stone right next to the road is not too covered as of today, It looks like people go there to keep it clear. The main covering today was of some roadside litter that I took away.
It wasn't possible to make out the shape of the circle that Moth saw here a few years ago, maybe at a different time of year it will still be possible to see the outline of what once was.
[visited 11/9/4] The idea that this sad stone could be part of a circle has excited me since I heard it, so I thought as I was site hunting about this way, I'd have a good walk about. I visited the actual stone again; its sad slow disapearance under vegetation & creeping topsoil continues. Never mind resurrecting it, I'm thinking a visit with a couple of shovels would be a good start.
I found one stone in the field next door and another in the field next to that. They are much smaller than the Broadstone, but as at Nine Stones of Winterbourne Abbas about a mile away, the size differential between stones is greater, its not a problem. I didn't see Moth's circle markers in the field and tbh if the circle existed, I imagined the road went straight through the middle of it. But I think thats just my fatalism.
Access to the Broadstone is from an AA layby along the verge of a very busy A road. Not for the faint hearted. Access to the other stones was (by me) over a fence from verge.
[update: december 2005] Was here to clear the creeping topsoil again and noticed the field next door is now being ploughed. A cursory look failed to locate the other stones, they may well have been removed...
Access pretty easy to see if you park in the layby on the left of the A35 travelling west, at approx SY598904. The stone we saw is over the hedge just a few yards further west from the layby. Just need to walk a few yards on the reasonably even grassy verge. The 'Broad Stone' itself is right by the roadside, in the verge....
Thursday 18 September 2003
So is this the remains of the circle that, according to Julian and Burl, John Aubrey mentioned as 3 stones, half a mile west of the Nine Stones of Winterbourne Abbas? It's in about the right place.
There's only one small stone visible in the field, but the grass was in just the right state that we could clearly see a number of slight tussocks forming what looked distinctly like a circle extending towards the road. The circle looked to be around the same size as the Nine Stones just up the road....
Unfortunately, the dense and vicious looking hedgerow and lack of time meant that we couldn't enter the field to investigate further.
So anyway, I probably shouldn't mention that we totally missed the Broad Stone itself. (See Juamei's picture.) Or that we thought this possible circle stone must have been it. Which it wasn't. QUITE.
BECAUSE I do also now notice that Juamei reckons that this stone AND the Broad Stone could have both been part of Aubrey's circle - which makes sense. And means that we must have virtually have stood on the Broad Stone itself. Ooops! And we'd been doing so well all day!
The Broadstone lies about 5cm below the current verge level, the earth encroaching in from all sides. I cleared some mud off its surface and discovered another 1 ½ foot of its breadth. This is a stone in serious danger of disappearing completely.
Another stone lies in the field next to the AA layby and a third was seen by John Aubrey in 1687.
(56) The Broad Stone (SY 59 SE; 59549040; Plate 217), a large sarsen boulder, lies half-buried in the scarp falling from the S. verge of the Bridport Road 2530 yds. W. of Winterbourne Abbas Church. It is approximately 9 ft. long, 4 ft. wide and 2 ft. thick with the long axis E. to W. and a pointed E. end. All markings appear to be natural. (Hutchins II, 196.)
'Stones', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 2, South east (London, 1970), pp. 512-515.
The Broad Stone - probable pond barrow and standing stone.
[SY 59539040] THE BROADSTONE [OE] (1)
"Lies flat - sarsen not conglomerate". (2)
Scheduled ancient monument No.34 (3)
"Half a mile W [of the stone circle 39 SE 6].. in the road, is large, flat, rude stone, about 10ft long, 5fft broad, and 2ft thick, perhaps the remains of a cromtech (4). Similar information called The "BROAD STONE" (5). (4-5)
Conglomerate stone, the type which may well have been used for a megalithic purpose. (6)
A sarsen set in the verge at the roadside, and partly turf covered. The stone has the following approximate dimensions:- length 2.8m; breath 1.5m; depth 0.5m. Possibly of a megalithic period, but there is no visible evidence by which the stone can be dated. It is extremely weathered on the S. side. See AO/55/24/7. (7)
A-SY59569039 B-SY59659036 A - a semi circular bank with an inner height of 1.0m and an outer height of 0.6m crossed by an obviously later E-W road fence north of which the feature has been destroyed. See GP Overall diam 27.0m. It is grass covered and has a heavy scatter of flint. There are no interior features. It is situated in a much disturbed valley floor. At the SW there is a marked lowering of the bank giving an entrance effect which is probably original. Apparently a pond barrow. B is similarly situated to A and like the BROAD STONE is probably sandstone conglomerate and much weathered. The greater portion of the stone, which leans to the south, is probably embedded in the ground, the maximum length of the exposed face and also the width is 0.9m. No other stones were found in the vicinity. (8)
( 1) Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) OS 6" 1903
( 2) General reference Rec 6" (OGS Crawford Undtd)
( 3) General reference Pte 6" Dorset Co. Museum (HMOW Copy)
( 4) General reference Hist of Dorset VOL 2 1863 3rd Edn p 196 (HUTCHINs)
( 5) General reference Ancient Dorset 1872 p111-112 (C WARNE)
( 6a) General reference Aubrey Ms pt 1. p.35
( 6) General reference R.C.H.M. Mss file
( 7) Field Investigators Comments F1 NVQ 03-JAN-55
( 8) Field Investigators Comments F2 JR 24-JAN-55