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Wot I did at Xmas!

The festive season is now past, my photos mostly developed and my individual trips written up on TMA. So.. time to start my TMA weblog.

In what looks to be an annual event for me, the festivities started with the winter solstice and Avebury. After sleeping in the car, I muddied myself good and proper by walking the fields to West Kennet for sunrise. Whilst there I met jimit, an event which is fast becoming a solstice regular!

Post solstice, I headed off to Dorset for the family shindig. I took this opportunity to have a looksee at Woodhenge on the way. Very nice location & I thought the wooden posts really helped give me a clue on what was going on.

The next couple of days were family oriented and then I escaped to the heart of my beautiful Dorset on Christmas Eve. Using Peter Knight's Ancient Stones as a guide, I visited Heedless William's stone, Poxwell Cairn, The Harpstone, Studland stone row, The Agglestone and The Puckstone (in that order). The lot are easily doable in a day even with the stupidly low number of daylight hours at this time of the year. If you don't have time (or inclination) for the lot, The Harpstone and Studland stone row appealed most to me.

Next up was a lot of eating and drinking. Lots of wine & turkey forced down my throat by my malicious right hand. Only nod towards the prehistoric was a family dogwalk to Puddletown forest, so I saw a couple of barrows...

Then came the second and most enjoyable escape on the 27th december. Again using Peter Knight, in conjunction with a couple of sites I've been meaning to visit for a while. This time I managed Poor Lot, The Broad Stone, The Helstone, Long Bredy Bank Barrow and finally Valley of Stones. All worth visiting but The Valley of stones was far and away the best site of the day. Go visit it!

The next day approaching the end of my holiday, I headed away from Dorset to London via Adam's Grave. What an amazing view. I sat on Knap Hill and watched the sun set before finally heading back to the big smoke...

Adam's Grave — Images

<b>Adam's Grave</b>Posted by juamei

The Valley of Stones — Fieldnotes

[visited 27/12/02] If ever a sacred site existed in Dorset this is it. Parking by Littlebredy farm (SY595883) at the mouth of the valley, I set off expecting a few large rocks in a field, I got a wonderful example of nature.

First off is the remains of a banked enclosure; guardpost, salesroom or temple, who knows. Then the train of stones starts, slowly at first like a small recumbent stone row and then it picks up as you head round into a small jumble of stones. Keeping on going the jumble continues into the undergrowth, not many stones visible, kinda like someone had created a freeform megalithic sculpture.

Then it happens, you reach a fence and on the other side is a huge number of stones stretching 1/2 a mile distant along the valley floor. There are some stones bigger than any upright in Dorset, just scattered about liberally. The stones go up one side of the valley wall and the suggestion to my mind is the hill to the left with these huge rocks poking out of it could be full of megaliths.

About half way along the valley floor is a cleared circular space about 15-20 metres across. Its not complete however as at least one stone pokes towards the centre, perhaps whoever cleared it stopped removing stones... It looks man-made and is I presume the 'mystical stone circle' the information board at the start of the walk talks about.

Heading back I spotted what could be another circle, though my brain may have been making circles out of anything at this point! This is at the end of the first field, just before the path heads to the right. You need to stand in the far corner from it to see some of the stones as they are hidden from the other direction by a small bank. This 'circle' is much smaller, maybe 2-3 metres across.
juamei Posted by juamei
2nd January 2003ce
Edited 22nd January 2003ce

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