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

Yellowmead Multiple Stone Circle

Stone Circle


Thanks to the directions in Goffik's fieldnotes, I got here without incident: the sun was shining, and, as I tramped across the moor, Skylarks rose from the ground before me, singing their song, but finding little purchase in the gusting wind that blew cold from the south-east. The long grass was dry, flat and bleached white, but the peat beneath still held it's generous allotment of water, squelching beneath my Size 12's as I approached from the east.

The circles themselves, and the little avenue, sit well in the landscape, between the imposing mass of Sheepstor, and the lesser height of Gutter Tor. As the small stone row certainly seems to align through the circle to the smaller five stone circle slightly higher up the slope, and I believe towards a flat (fallen?) stone south-west of the circle (and the small stream) on the slope. One stone of the inner circle is recumbent: perhaps it was too heavy for the restorers of 1921?

It is a peaceful place, worth the twenty-minute tromp from the car park: stay a while and try to figure it out - you'll find yourself lost in a very simple landscape. A walk around four concentric circles* (all but the outer one complete) allow the visitor to view the moor in different aspects; the impressive grandeur of neighbouring Sheeps Tor, the greener enclosed land of the farm in the valley below, the gently sloping rough grassland that hides the circle from the east, and the distant granite tumble of Leather Tor. A marvellous place to recharge and ponder beneath the blue spring sky.

I walked out via Sheeps Tor, down into the green lushness of the valley beyond the farm; as I came out onto the road leading back to the car, I happened to look up to my left across the valley towards Sheeps Tor. Amazingly, a near-perfect circle of some sixty sheep were formed in a field below the Tor... synchronicity? No, they were being fed by a farmer on a quad bike!

* An interesting entry in Volume 5 of the Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities (Jeremy Butler, 1997, p186) notes that: "perhaps......multiple rings, such as the free-standing stone circles, represent a faint ancestral echo of those gigantic pillared monuments in stone or wood in Wessex."
Pilgrim Posted by Pilgrim
21st April 2005ce
Edited 22nd April 2005ce

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