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Damage Barton Standing Stones, near Ilfracombe

Visited Friday 5th May 2000

Grid References #1 SS471462 #2 SS471464 #3 SS473466

Just a little to the west of Ilfracombe, lie 3 standing stones in close proximity to each other. Go west through the town centre, where the A399 becomes the A361. After a Church and Cemetry on your right on a bend, you will need to take a very sudden right hand turn towards Lee. One point of possible interest along the way, is a place called 'Whitestone', which is marked on the map. Around grid reference 497462, we saw an enormous white stone to the right of the road, before we descended a hill and it became obscured by a hedge. The stone was not marked on the map, but it looked a clear contender for a place worth looking at, access permiting.

Having driven through Lee, follow the road, driving very carefully, as there are numerous blind corners and steep hills; we used the car horn on numerous occasions to give warning that a vehicle (us) was coming around the corner. On the map, there is a place marked 'Hillymouth' (476463) on the left hand side of the road; here there is a sharp bend to the left; we parked on the bridleway which is at an angle to that bend. The bridleway did not appear in use for vehicular access (no tire tracks or ruts, and the bridleway becomes way too narrow for any 4 wheel vehicle).

We followed (on foot) the bridleway, over a small spring, through a field of very curious cows. At the top of this field, you come out onto a very good track. Just to the right there was a map of the immediate area, showing access routes and the standing stones. We followed this track to the right, and the first stone was to the left in the centre of the field. The miles of greenery were lovely; it really felt like a very romantic experience of England!

This stone was just short of 3 feet tall, at an angle, and well used by sheep as a scratch post. The next stone, we briefly retraced our steps, and went around to the adjoining field to the north; when more or less even with the first stone, we went straight north uphill, and came to the second stone, which is on a ridge. Given that the sea and Bristol Channel are not far off, this was a very windy location. The 4 foot 3 inch tall stone was set against some gorse bushes, in resplendent yellow bloom, making a pretty, if prickly backdrop!

For the final stone, we followed the top of the ridge to the east a short distance, until it was safe for us to go down, again heading north. We went through a gap in the wall, and to the far right in the field was the third stone. This was given an extra 11 inches height by sheep which had rubbed themselves for years against this stone; the stone's actual height was 3 feet 9 inches, and had a very high quartz content, if my assessment is correct.

ShropshireTraveller Posted by ShropshireTraveller
13th November 2004ce

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