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

The Nine Stones of Winterbourne Abbas

Stone Circle


This circle is so small that it is entirely sheltered by the branches of the beech tree at its southern edge. Situated right beside the A35 (on the south side), visiting this place requires a precarious walk along the pavementless edge of the trunk road. (As well as the Little Chef to park in, there's a nearer spot at the entrance to an inactive farm, across the road and a little east).

There's several things I found to be slightly at variance with the Modern Antiquarian's impression of this place. Stukeley's drawing (reproduced in The Modern Antiquarian) shows only eight stones, but there are definitely nine (albeit the smallest one barely a foot high and being slowly enveloped by the beech tree's roots). John Aubrey reportedly called the stones 'petrified clumps of flints', but only three stones have this flinty-pebbledash look to them. Tellingly, it's the three largest stones. And although Julian Cope is correct in saying that there are massive differences in the heights of the stones, two nearest the road stand way taller than the rest and provide a gateway effect. Between these two stands a tiny stone, looking to me like an arrowhead shape pointing outwards from the gateway.

Despite the rush and roar of the fast traffic on the adjacent main road, there is a heady peacefulness and a tangible tingle to this place.

(Visited 3 August 2000)
Posted by Merrick
6th August 2000ce

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