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

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Hart Tor (Stone Row / Alignment) — Images (click to view fullsize)

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Black Tor (Rocking Stone) — Images

<b>Black Tor</b>Posted by postman<b>Black Tor</b>Posted by postman<b>Black Tor</b>Posted by postman

Sharpitor cairns (Cairn(s)) — Images

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Sharpitor (Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue) — Images

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Buttern Hill Chambered Cairn. — Fieldnotes

We approached the burial chamber from Buttern hill stone circle, where by you just go straight up and over the hill. But no matter what direction you come from just look for the large walled enclosure on the east side of Buttern hill, walk round it til you find the chamber on the east side of the enclosure, at it's south east corner.
This site isn't going to set your megalithic world on fire, it is a fairly luke warm place. But there aren't many chambered cairns on Dartmoor, no wait, actually there's probably loads, but they're not what Dartmoor does most of, so we decided to go back to the car this way.

Right at the corner of the walled enclosure there are some big stones that look like they could well have been part of some now toppled monument, I thought they were what I was looking for but they didn't look anything like the pictures on here and on the Portal. So I kept on looking, one place immediately took my eye, bracken growing out of some stones, they must surely be it. They are.

It's pretty ruined, the chamber is recognisable, and because you can see the chamber all the other parts fall into place, passage stones, portal stones one up one down. The view east is quite extensive, but crosses only over farmland.
Hunger had made itself known to me some time ago, every footfall now wobbled pains around my stomach. We quit the hill, and made a bee line for the road, retrieving the car at quarter to nine, a little over four hours had passed. Cosdon stone row, stone circles White moor and Buttern hill and here, all seen.

Buttern Hill Chambered Cairn. — Images

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Buttern Hill Stone Circle — Fieldnotes

Eric and I approached Buttern hill stone circle from White moor stone circle, two kilometers to the north west. There was no path, except those made by sheep, and who knows what governs their movements. So we were guessing really, I have a map and compass, but they only play a secondary role to guesswork. From White Moor standing stone strike out for the south edge of Kennon hill, stopping momentarily at the old settlement marked on the 1;25,000 map. Then keep going in a south east direction heading for Buttern hill, at the lowest point between hills Kennon and Buttern, turn south, the stones will appear, have faith, they are there.

Most of the stones here are having a lie down, Eric is easily lead, so he took their advice and lay down on the longest stone. I tried to photograph the stones as best as I could without letting the lazy boy into them, but in the end i followed suit and lay down on the second longest recumbent. The sun, by now, had dried out the grass and stones, we got pretty comfy, apart from the internal ever present scream of damaged ear drums, the only sound came from an over achieving Skylark, seemingly screaming his shrill melody right at us.
Opening my eyes, I was gratified to see that we hadn't gone mad and poetry still doesn't move me, so I suggested we could possibly get a move on to the last site on this particular walk. After he'd vacated the longest stone, I took some more photos, and off we went.

Buttern Hill Stone Circle — Images

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White Moor Stone Circle — Fieldnotes

It's a fair old walk of two and a half kilometers from Cosdon hill stone rows to White Moor stone circle, following the well obvious footpath we stayed clear of Raybarrow pool, indeed why would you even try to go through it, you'd have to be mad to stray from the path, I'm always straying, but when the path goes straight to where your going?
After much wet feet based japery, the stones finally come into view, my heart missed a beat, and I got that giddy Brodgar feeling, it's been so long coming, has this stone circle, and such a long walk, even my goosebumps had goosebumps. Eric, as ever took it in his coolest of strides, he asked which way were going next, sat, and waited for me to drink my fill of White moor, he knows the score.

I've been on lots of moors, hillsides and commons, fields and heaths, and, do you know, none of them have been white, not a one, and this place is also decidedly not white, it's most definitely green, bright, shiny, wet and very green, almost, you might say, as green as grass, why isn't this place called Green Moor? That's what I'd have called it, is there even a green moor anywhere? Bet not.

Even my feet are wet now, and I'm beginning to join Eric in his fantasies about Thanos clicking his fingers and getting rid of wet feet the universe over, but wet feet are still another small price to pay to be here, now.
I walk around the stones, there's no need to touch them, they're hard and wet, I know. There's two things I do at an ancient site, photography and sitting, it's still quite wet, so sitting is out. Walking round and round, clicking the little back box at it all, and yes a slight caress of the tallest stone, a pretty and thin slab, and telling Eric yes I'll be done shortly, he's over by the outlier now and I can tell how tall it is, it's maybe twice as tall as any of the circle stones, I walk over to it, little knowing that I was walking away from the circle of my dreams.

The outlier has been graffitised, by someone with the initials DC and TP and just T, later that morning I see that DC also went to the long stone on Shovel down, a repeat offender. The outlier is almost pointing us in the direction of Buttern hill stone circle. I tell Eric that we're now on our way back to the car, just one stone circle and chambered cairn on the way. He leads me away, with only time for a quick wistful look over my shoulder, I whisper bye stones to the stones of White moor, still a stupid name though.

White Moor Stone Circle — Images

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Cosdon Hill (Stone Row / Alignment) — Fieldnotes

I had no clear idea where to catch this years summer solstice sunrise from, only that we were going for a big one on Dartmoor, it might be Down Tor, it might be White Moor, it might be Brisworthy, it all depends on timing, the longer it takes to get here, the less time we have to get across Dartmoor. I like leaving things til the last minute, I really don't, but I do, and today was no exception, running out of time we head for the nearest name on today's list, Cosdon hill.

I was trying to come from the nine stones area south of South Zeal, but missed it and went up a small lane that terminates at a ford by a bridleway entrance. Not an ideal parking place, but there was just enough room for a horse to get by, should there be one out and about in the lanes of Dartmoor at half four in the morning. Eric and me accessed the hillside further south than I knew, so it took us longer to find the stones, just as I was beginning to wonder where on earth they were, the sun came. We stopped and photographed the absolutely perfect sunrise (two in a row now) scrutinised the map and local topography, made a decision on where to find them and went that way. I was fair gobsmacked when I saw the stones and shouted stones ahoy, pointing them out to Eric, who let out a gasped hooray, he stayed awake with me all the way here, and was in trainers that aren't waterproof, tired and wet feet isn't the best way to start one of the longest megalithic walks on the list.

The most beautiful kind of sunlight ever created bathed the triple row of stones and indeed everything as far as the eye could see, which was far. The dew on the grass took in that sunlight turned it into a trillion little rainbows and reflected it all into my eyes. Sometimes it's clear to me why we do this, no sleep, a five hour drive and a long walk up an uncooperative hill, a very small price to pay to see something like this.
None of the stones are very tall, waist height at the most, but there's so many, and so much going on in such a small place. The cairn, has two cists, and maybe five circle stones on it's circumference, going down hill, the three terminal stones separate the cairn from the rows of stones, then the rows wander uncoordinated down hill, like a drunken army squad. Then there's a drainage ditch, but the stones carry on, but more sporadic, then they just kind of fade out into the hillside. I walk back up to the cairn where Eric is sitting out of the wind, and sit for a while next to him, he grudgingly admits that the stones are quite impressive and the sunrise a good one. You can't ask much more than that from a sixteen year old.

Cosdon Hill (Stone Row / Alignment) — Images

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Previous 50 | Showing 51-100 of 9,637 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
After visiting over a thousand ancient places and driving between fifteen to twenty thousand miles every year I can only conclude that I'm obsessed with these places, and finding this website ten years ago only compounded that obsession, at least I'm not alone anymore.

My favourite places are:

Ring of Brodgar
Callanish
Balnauran of Clava
Torhouskie
Swinside
Nine stones close
Bryn Celli Ddu
The Druids circle (penmaenmawr)
HafodyGors Wen
Gwal y Filiast
Grey Wethers
Boscawen Un
La Roche au Fees
Drombeg
Uragh
Talati De Dalt

and these are only the ones that immediatly spring to mind, so many stones and not enough lifetimes.

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