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


(57) The Nine Stones stone circle (SY 69 SW; 61079043; Fig. p. 514, Plate 211), stands immediately S. of the Bridport road 850 yds. W. of the church in an enclosure just inside Nine Stone Wood. The site is level at 345 ft. above O.D. on the S. edge of a narrow valley floor. The subsoil is apparently river gravel with Upper Chalk adjacent to the S.

The stones, all sarsens, are arranged in a rough circle with internal diameters of about 27½ ft. (N. to S.) and 23½ ft. (W. to E.). Though they are irregularly spaced, a gap to the N. is almost twice as wide as any other gap. Seven of the stones are small and low, from about 1 ft. to 2½ ft. high. Two are more massive: (a) is 7 ft. high and its elongated form recalls the 'A' stones in the Kennet Avenue near Avebury, Wilts.; (b), a large slab, 6 ft. high and 6 ft. across at the base, is like the 'B' stones in the same Avenue (cf. Antiquity x (1936), 420).

Aubrey recorded only nine stones, as did Hutchins in 1768; but Warne alleged traces of a tenth to the N.E., presumably in the wide gap. Stukeley's drawing of 1723 shows the circle in the same state as at present and nothing could be seen of any additional stone in 1936. (S. and C. M. Piggott, Antiquity XIII (1939), 146, with facsimile of Aubrey's MS. notes as pl. I; J. Hutchins, History of Dorset II, 196, and Gentleman's Magazine (1768), 112–3, letter signed J. H.; C. Warne, Ancient Dorset (1872), 117–8; J. Stukeley, Itinerarium Curiosum II (1724), tab. 92, which has been wrongly identified as showing a site in Winterbourne Monkton, Wilts.) The site is a guardianship monument of the Ministry of Public Building and Works and is No. 149 on the O.S. Map of Neolithic Wessex.

'Stones', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 2, South east (London, 1970), pp. 512-515. British History Online
Chance Posted by Chance
29th March 2016ce

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