The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Shovel Down

Stone Circle

<b>Shovel Down</b>Posted by MeicImage © Michael Mitchell
Also known as:
  • Monument No. 443527
  • Fourfold Circle

Nearest Town:Okehampton (11km NW)
OS Ref (GB):   SX6686 / Sheet: 191
Latitude:50° 39' 27.46" N
Longitude:   3° 53' 45.57" W

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<b>Shovel Down</b>Posted by Meic <b>Shovel Down</b>Posted by Meic


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Details of stone circle on Pastscape

(SX 65968601) Triple Circle (Stone Circle) (NR) (Remains of). (1)
A barrow with a four-fold retaining circle marks the southern end of a Stone Row ('B' SX 68 NE 16). The outer circle, consisting of nine standing stones and one fallen stone, is approx 29 feet in diameter to the internal faces of the
stones. Possibly seven stones are missing. The inner circle, approx 19 feet in diameter, has six standing stones and possibly
once had four more. The third circle, approx 15 feet in diameter, consists of eight standing stones and possibly once had two more. The innermost circle has four stones,two standing, and possibly once had two more. The diameter is approx 8 feet.
With the exception of Lukis every observer has described this as a triple circle. (2)
A small barrow with peristalith 25ft in diameter, two interior circles of othostats and a wrecked cist. (3)
A cairn at the southern end of a stone row with four circles of stone, the outermost with a diameter of 30 feet. Immediately
adjoining the circle are two large fallen stones. One is a pillar 11 1/2 feet long and the other a slab over 7 feet with
one end broadly triangular in shape. They probably stood facing each other at the ed of the stone row. (4) Fourfold Circle (NAT) Stone Circle (NR). (5) None of the authorities consulted gives this cairn a proper name. Triple Circle and Fourfold Circle are always used descriptively.
A turf covered cairn, 10.0m in diameter and 0.4m in height with a ruined central cist of small slabs.
Two concentric circles of orthostats and a perimeter circle protrude from the turf. See photograph. Surveyed at 1:2500. (6)
SX 65968601 Fourfold Circle a sub-circular configeration of four apparently consentric stone rings. The outer ring has a diameter of 9m, the others have diameters of 6.4m, 4.7m and 2.4m respectively. The monument comprises 29 visible stones. Most are approximately 0.3m in height although they vary from 0.1-0.55m. The middle two rings define the bottom and top of the scarp of a small earthern cairn apparently an integral part of the monument. It is most pronounced on the E (downslope side). In the centre is a roughly sub-circular pit measuring 1.3m by 0.7m and 0.45m deep; it is probably the remains of a badly robbed cist. On the N side are two fallen stones. When upright they may have served as a focal point for the end of the stone row (SX 68 NE 16 B). They measure 3.4m and 1.2m in length, the former being inscribed `GP' (for Gidleigh parish) and confirming its reuse as a boundary stone. Both stones lie within a pronounced erosion hollow 0.3m deep. If the stones did function as a pair at the end of a stone row, then their relationship with the fourfold circle is unclear.
(See RCHME archive survey `The Stone Rows on Shovel Down' at 1:200 scale). (7)
Chance Posted by Chance
12th April 2016ce