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Deerleap Stones

Standing Stones

<b>Deerleap Stones</b>Posted by hamishImage © Mike Murray
This site is of disputed antiquity. If you have any information that could help clarify this site's authenticity, please post below or leave a post in the forum.
Also known as:
  • Monument No. 197113
  • Deer Leap Stones

Nearest Town:Wells (4km ESE)
OS Ref (GB):   ST518486 / Sheets: 182, 183
Latitude:51° 14' 2.35" N
Longitude:   2° 41' 25.64" W

Added by Rhiannon

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<b>Deerleap Stones</b>Posted by Ravenfeather <b>Deerleap Stones</b>Posted by Ravenfeather <b>Deerleap Stones</b>Posted by Ravenfeather <b>Deerleap Stones</b>Posted by doktoratomik <b>Deerleap Stones</b>Posted by doktoratomik <b>Deerleap Stones</b>Posted by doktoratomik <b>Deerleap Stones</b>Posted by doktoratomik <b>Deerleap Stones</b>Posted by jimit <b>Deerleap Stones</b>Posted by jimit <b>Deerleap Stones</b>Posted by jimit <b>Deerleap Stones</b>Posted by hamish <b>Deerleap Stones</b>Posted by hamish <b>Deerleap Stones</b>Posted by hamish


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Visited 23.4.16

As Ravenfeather states the best place to park is in the car park for Ebbor Gorge (free). Walk up the hill and you will come to a double wooden stile on your left. The stones are visible from the stiles on your right. Easy access – as long as you are able to manage a stile! The stones are shown on the Natural England map I picked up for Ebbor Gorge.

We were heading home after spending the day in Glastonbury (birthday treat for Karen) and I was keen to pay these stones a visit. The sun was still high in the sky and white fluffy clouds skimmed across a dark blue sky. However, the cold wind reminded you we were still in spring. Myself, Dafydd and Sophie walked across the field to the stones and the first thing that strikes you is the wonderful view across the Somerset Levels over towards Glastonbury. I pointed out the Tor to the children in the distance which they seemed impressed by – although Sophie wasn’t impressed enough to climb the Tor earlier in the day. I believe the words she used were ‘There is no way I am walking up there………!’.

The first stone you come to is the smaller of the two. This stone is approximately 1 metre high. The second stone is perhaps 1.3 metres high. A half-decomposed bunch of tulips had been left at the base of the stone. The children sat on top of the stones and we all admired the view.

If you are visiting Ebbor Gorge it is well worth the short walk to seek out these stones. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to visit the Gorge but I will definitely return to put that right. This is a very pretty place and deserves a prolonged visit.
Posted by CARL
24th April 2016ce

Visited 8th May 2012

One of the joys of the TMA website is discovering lovely places you never knew existed, and after many years of quite regular trips down to Glastonbury and never knowing about these nearby stones until I read about them here, I took this opportunity to pay a visit.

Whilst Ellen trawled the shops in Glastonbury I headed out to Wookey Hole, and following the High Street around the back of the huge car park for the caves, until it became Kennel Batch lane, I continued uphill until I saw the Ebbor Gorge National Trust carpark. Leaving the car there (although the gorge itself is definitely worth a vist, as I had a walk around it on my return to the car) I continued uphill until reaching the second signed public footpath to the left. From the stile into the field I could see the stones to my right.

The two stubby stones are modest in size, but have a fantastic aspect, looking out over the Somerset levels, Glastonbury Tor being particularly prominent. The stones must be a good 50' apart, and the high meadow in which they stand is a sea of yellow dandelions today.

It's lovely and peaceful here, with only the rumbling of the occasional tractor or car in the nearby lane, but you are perfectly screened here from the road and feel remote from the cares of the world.

I lay my coat on the damp grass so I can stretch out in the sunshine by the stones and relax. Buzzards cry overhead, and the wind sends clouds scudding across the sky, for me this beats retail therapy any day!

As I doze in the sunshine I'm awoken by a thundering roar as the ground vibrates and a dark shadow passes overhead, startled I look up to see a Hercules aircraft sweep low overhead, probably only a hundred feet above the field, affording me the opportunity to get some great shots of the low flying plane.

It's been great here, worth it for the views alone, but it does still feel like a magical place, despite the fact that the stones have been messed around with in the past, and one of them is not original. As the great man JC (Julian Cope) might say, it's a 'righteous hangout'.
Ravenfeather Posted by Ravenfeather
13th May 2012ce

[visited 28/11/04] These caught my eye a few months ago and finally I've had a chance to visit. The view was gorgeous and well worth the trip to these parts all by itself, but the site itself, hmmmm. Lets start with the dead badger lying close to the stones, not their fault I will admit, but it really didn't add to the ambience of the place, though did provide a useful comparison for the photos.

Onto the antiquity of the stones, I've seen a fair few standing stones now about these parts and they have all to a rock, been considerably more weathered than these two. They've had much more lichen and are on the whole darker. These stones stood out lighter from a distance, which is never the best of signs.

Perhaps they've come from a barrow hereabouts, the roundbarrows round here contain cists after all, or perhaps they are a more modern introduction.
Reading the site notes, one stone should defn be less weathered, presumably the upper stone as its lighter.

Access is via a 10 minute walk from one of two ebhor gorge car parks, along a road for a bit, then in a field.
juamei Posted by juamei
11th December 2004ce
Edited 11th December 2004ce

I was lucky enought to end up here on a glorious October day, with a fantastic view, lovely clear skies, and warm weather.

I'm not convinced of the antiquity of these stones, but the location is so stunning it hardly matters. The views out over the levels are second to none.

The stones are easy to find - park up at Ebbor Gorge, then follow the road on foot uphill. There's a couple of footpaths off to the left, and I think it was the second one that leads to the stones, which are clearly visible from the style.
doktoratomik Posted by doktoratomik
12th October 2003ce

I was here last week-end,nice day but cold.there was a haze so the view was not clear in the distance,I wonder if Burrow Mump can be seen from here. hamish Posted by hamish
10th April 2003ce
Edited 10th April 2003ce

It's worthwhile checking these stones as their setting is spectacular. They sit high on the SW escarpment of the Mendips and command extensive views to the Bristol Channel, the Quantock and Polden Hills. Exmoor can be seen in the far distance and Glastonbury Tor rises from the Somerset Levels below. When I got there unfortunately there was thick hill mist and you couldn't see a sodding thing! It was a slow drive-by visit so didn't get to see the site in detail but there seem to be two stones, a tall one to the S and a more squat one to the N about 10-15M away. The site is very near to the car park for the beautiful Ebbor Gorge. jimit Posted by jimit
10th April 2003ce


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Although the tunnel story is pretty fanciful, I discovered that there is an entrance to one of the numerous lead mines in this area in this field. jimit Posted by jimit
26th May 2003ce

"This tale (Tunnels near Glastonbury) has quite a few local variants throughout Somerset. Most cogent here is the Mendip story told to Anthony Roberts by a fine old gentleman, the late James Barnard, who farmed between Wedmore and Wells and who traced his family back hundreds of years. This long distance tunnel myth is centered around two prehistoric standing stones that lie on the side of the Mendip Hills near Ebbor Gorge. The megaliths are called the Deerleap Stones and they mark at least one ley line running towards Warminster. Near these stones there is supposidly a tunnel entrance and a dog was said to have been thrust in, to reappear some days later from an exit at Glastonbury Tor. This is a distance of about eight miles as the crow flies."
jimit Posted by jimit
10th April 2003ce
Edited 10th April 2003ce


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Details of stones on Pastscape

ST51794878 & 51794876. Two large standing stones, known as the Deer Leap Stones, were formerly situated in an old hedge bank, but this was grubbed out in 1967 the stones being left standing. (1)
Chance Posted by Chance
14th April 2016ce

Two large standing stones, known as the Deer Leap Stones, were formerly situated in an old hedge bank, but this was grubbed out in 1967, the old stones being left standing. A further similar stone was built into the corner of a wall 200m north at the summit of a hill (ST 51714893). Presumably it was emplaced before the wall, perhaps as a boundary stone. At ST 51804910, 300m north of the Deer Leap stones is the stump of a roadside outcrop of quartzite blasted away in road widening, which has been confused with the Deer Leap stones. {1}

A legend of a phenomenal leap by a deer, commemorated by these stones, is well known to old Mendippers. The stones are 16m apart. Until 1964 each stood c.2m east of a dry-stone wall, but in that year the wall was dismantled and workmen broke up the southern stone and damaged the other. The lost stone was subsequently replaced by a similar from a nearby quarry, and the northern raised upright. Stones consist of quartzite, probably local. {3}

According to other local sources the stone was broken up by Italian prisoners of war and subsequently replaced with another block. {4}

1 Detailed records - Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division 1970 ST54NW37 SCPD
2 Mention - PUBSS Tratman, E.K 1968 vol 11(3), 243-4
3 Detailed records - Stanton, W.I. Proc University of Bristol Spelaeological Society 16:1 (1981), 63-4
4 Mention - Brown, D Somerset v. Hitler (1999), 206

Record created by:
Ed Dennison in October 1985

© Copyright Somerset County Council 2003

With thanks to the Somerset Museums Service for providing the link to this information.
The previous antiquity of these stones in their former location/s still seems undecided.
jimit Posted by jimit
14th November 2003ce

Talking to some Wellsonians (?) before and after my visit here they seemed to think that the stones were one of those strange monuments to the chase (Deerleap ?) beloved by the 18 & 19C. There's one near Winchester dedicated to a horse called "Beware Chalk Pit"! One chap said that his grandfather restored/moved them in the early 20C but the interesting thing is that there seemed to be a bit of a folk memory of them coming from a much older construction. Whatever their true origins this is still a stunning location. jimit Posted by jimit
10th April 2003ce