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

Park Place

Chambered Tomb


From Nikolaus Pevesner's 'Berkshire' (1966):
.. an estate called Temple Combe and in this the Druidic Temple, called by Horace Walpole " little master Stonehenge", a stone circle [sic] found in Jersey in 1785 and brought over as a gift to General Conway in 1787.

The stones were all re-erected accurately, and Walpole is right, as usual, when he calls the monument " very high-priestly ". [Actually, they probably weren't that accurate. As he hints below, for a start.]

The circle stood originally on Mont de la Ville, St Helier, Jersey. In its original form the tomb was covered by a mound of earth revetted with drystone walling, but only the megalithic structure was erected in the park. In its present form it consists of a stone-built passage 15 ft long and 5 ft wide roofed with four capstones leading to a circular area enclosed by a ring of thirty upright slabs, against which are built five cells roofed with capstones but open to the centre. The diameter of this circle is now 27 ft, although a contemporary plan made before its removal from Jersey shows it to have been originally 21 ft in diameter. Some slight additions appear to have been made to the monument as a number of the stones are of a sandstone unknown in Jersey but outcropping in Berkshire.
The house and grounds now appear to be owned by this company
who want to turn it into a country club. The extensive website does not mention their policy on riff-raff wishing to view stones.

I found this extra information in Glyn Daniel's 1972 'Megaliths in History': the reason why the stones were moved at all was because in 1785 a colonel of the St Helier militia was having a piece of landl levelled for a parade ground (somewhere later occupied by Fort Regent). His men found the 'Mont de la Ville' and he offered it to the Governer of Jersey. Apparently the governer didn't want to pay to have it delivered (he actually was probably thinking, why do I want those stones cluttering up the garden) - so when Horace Walpole persuaded the Marshall to send it to his house near Henley, he agreed. It bears an inscription (or did, at least) - "Cet ancien Temple des Druides decouvert le 12md Aout 1785 sur le Montagne de St Helier dans l'Isle de Jersey, a ete presente par les Habitans a son Excellence le General Conway, leur Gouverneur." Ah yes, the Druids again.

See it in its original spot at
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
15th March 2005ce
Edited 14th December 2005ce

Comments (1)

There is a Times article about Jersey calling for the return of these stones, as The Times doesn't allow free access to the whole article, I shall put the news here. Basically Jersey is calling for the return of the stones, to be put in a different place by the way. Park Place is up for sale and the scheme is to buy the estate at seven million pounds, transport the stones, and then resell the estate. Ambitious!
moss Posted by moss
25th November 2017ce
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