The first time I visited Stanton Drew I didn't even know this circle existed. Therefore I made sure I had a look the next time I was in the area. Access was easy enough from the main stone circle (2 minute walk) and despite quite a few people about, I had this site to myself. Well worth a look when visiting Stanton Drew.
Visited 21.9.09, walking from Pensford (small local shop/post office and pub, facilities wise). Approaching Stanton Drew from south east, via footpaths from the school, this is the first site you get to.
The stones are low and grizzled, like battleships after a pounding. An odd mixture of oolitic limestone and red sandstone. They reminded me of The Horestone near Lower Swell in the Cotswolds. Although not the most impressive of sites, I felt lucky to even come here, given the history of restricted access and wrangling.
From here the footpath goes through the farm yard, although some kind of permissive path exists as a link FROM the Great Circle.
Finally we walked to the third circle. I realised what an elevated position this has compared to the other two. The vistas that are revealed are quite different: suddenly you can see out to ( what I now realise is the Blackdown Hills, where Beacon Batch is, and from where you can see Everywhere), and to my astonishment and delight, there was Kelston Round Hill on Lansdown – a marker which I feel more and more certain was acknowledged by our ancestors (but more on this when I can order my thoughts). Also for the first time I realised where the Cove is from this circle – you can see the wall of the Druids Arms garden. It would be so nice to be able to walk in a logical manner towards it from here, instead of back around the village. The church is so close by – superbly located to keep an eye on all three parts of this megalithic complex.
Although I didn't notice it, there is apparently a stone visible in the centre of this small circle. My companions and I were quite interested in the types of stone utilised. According to the EH smr they are 'dolomitic conglomerate' (which must be the red one with bits in), 'sandstone' (we found a clearly sedimentary rock in the main circle) and 'oolitic limestone' (holey, as you would see at Bathampton or the Rollrights), all of which it says could have been collected from within six miles of the site. In our examination of the stones we noticed that there seemed to have been a certain amount of digging around several of them in this small circle. We would liked to have put it down to rabbits, who were obviously in residence, but there was something quite un-rabbitlike in the way great clods of turf had been ripped up. If it was an unscrupulous person, let's hope they get the usual tide of bad luck that attends Messers With Stones, eh.
This circle is secluded (at least in the 21st century) but I felt like we were at the 'top table' of the Wedding. The land seems to drop gradually away in every direction; you seem to be on a little knoll especially chosen for the site. It is elegantly proportioned (though it is quite different with its stones much smaller than the similarly sized NE circle) and seems to fit its location very well.
With the cove becoming (almost) visible I was set to thinking about the functions of the different parts of the complex. Would you have gone to them all in a single visit? What routes would you have taken? It is hard to envisage such things with the village obscuring the possible intervisibility of sites and forcing you to walk the long way round.
Visited 21st June 2003: We've been to Stanton Drew a few times before, but this was my first visit to the South West Circle. We were all a bit tired after watching the Solstice sunrise, but I persuaded Lou and William that it was worth seeing how close we could get to this circle.
We walked from the Great Circle, back into the village, then headed out of the village again on the public footpath that I'd seen on the map (the map that I'd cunningly left in the car). When we got to the right sort of place I realised that there was good access from the path into the field where the circle lies, through a wooden kissing gate. It all looked very much as if we were allowed to be there, which I gather didn't used to be the case.
The circle looks a bit shabby compared to it's neighbours. All the stones are fallen, and the grass around the was either under-grazed or badly cut. Hardly surprising given the obscurity of this circle in comparison to the others. There were signs that other people had been there already that morning (offerings on the stones), but on the whole it looks like not many people visit this place. The quiet was pleasing, but we were all so tired and hungry that breakfast and a cup of coffee lured us away.