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The Valley of Stones

Natural Rock Feature

<b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by texlahomaImage © texlahoma
Nearest Town:Chickerell (9km SE)
OS Ref (GB):   SY598875 / Sheet: 194
Latitude:50° 41' 6.55" N
Longitude:   2° 34' 8.8" W



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<b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by postman <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by postman <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by postman <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by postman <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by postman <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by postman <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by postman <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by postman <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by formicaant <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by Spaceship mark <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by Snuzz <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by Snuzz <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by Snuzz <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by Snuzz <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by texlahoma <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by texlahoma <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by texlahoma <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by texlahoma <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by juamei <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by juamei <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by juamei <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by juamei <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by juamei <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by juamei <b>The Valley of Stones</b>Posted by juamei

Fieldnotes

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After having been to the Hellstone and Hampton down stone circle I drove north and parked at the space by the junction of Bishop's Road and National cycle route 2 Road. Not as eloquently named that one.
Passing through the gate, or was it a stile? I can't remember, just get into the field with an information board then head down hill following the most worn path you can find. The Valley of stones is on your left just another stile and your there, you are entering the valley from it's north east.

I mostly pass by the drift of stones passing the curious circular structure higher up the east slope until I cant take it anymore and dive straight down into them,
Among the most notable stones in the meander are large flat boulders with cup like erosions on the surface, boulders with coffee or rose coloured flint extrusions, a stone with a hole in it, and a stone circle, of sorts.

I've not been here before, clearly my one and only trip to Dorset twenty years ago was a bit of a rush job, a cursory glance at best. I passed the Valley of stones by in favour of the Grey Mare and her colts.
This is much better, time to wander and time to ponder, and the wind cant get me down here, but the dog blanket is still being my cloak 'cause it's still cold. After having sat and stared at the "stone circle" I get up and walk the stone arc back and forth, in the end all's I can say is one stone in the circle is a boulder practically bristling with rosy caramel flint, it's just about the prettiest stone I've ever seen, and I didn't get the stone circle feel from it, more of an enclosure of some sort, it has an entrance, and no where for the western arc of stones to go. I guess it could be Iron age.
Also, this is the place people came to to take stones away to build stone circles, it would be like going to B&Q and building your patio right there in the shop. Or perhaps not.
postman Posted by postman
25th March 2020ce
Edited 25th March 2020ce

a very beautiful walk, with stones of interesting sizes and shapes. this place is also within walking distance of the hellstone and hampton down stone cicle, all of which can be walked between easily if you park in the layby next to the farm in between the hellstone and hampton down stone circle. when we were there the weather changed between snow and bright sunshine and the stones seemed to change dramatically with the light. texlahoma Posted by texlahoma
12th March 2004ce

[visited nov 2003] Coming down into the valley west of Crow Hill from approx the Grey Mare, I had a purpose to fulfill. Namely the rectangular enclosure which had puzzled me last time.

I had a decent forage this time & discovered a few stones in the middle of it & also got a decent picture.

No idea how old it is as like the circles within the stone drift, it could have been made in modern times.
juamei Posted by juamei
12th March 2004ce

[visited 27/12/02] If ever a sacred site existed in Dorset this is it. Parking by Littlebredy farm (SY595883) at the mouth of the valley, I set off expecting a few large rocks in a field, I got a wonderful example of nature.

First off is the remains of a banked enclosure; guardpost, salesroom or temple, who knows. Then the train of stones starts, slowly at first like a small recumbent stone row and then it picks up as you head round into a small jumble of stones. Keeping on going the jumble continues into the undergrowth, not many stones visible, kinda like someone had created a freeform megalithic sculpture.

Then it happens, you reach a fence and on the other side is a huge number of stones stretching 1/2 a mile distant along the valley floor. There are some stones bigger than any upright in Dorset, just scattered about liberally. The stones go up one side of the valley wall and the suggestion to my mind is the hill to the left with these huge rocks poking out of it could be full of megaliths.

About half way along the valley floor is a cleared circular space about 15-20 metres across. Its not complete however as at least one stone pokes towards the centre, perhaps whoever cleared it stopped removing stones... It looks man-made and is I presume the 'mystical stone circle' the information board at the start of the walk talks about.

Heading back I spotted what could be another circle, though my brain may have been making circles out of anything at this point! This is at the end of the first field, just before the path heads to the right. You need to stand in the far corner from it to see some of the stones as they are hidden from the other direction by a small bank. This 'circle' is much smaller, maybe 2-3 metres across.
juamei Posted by juamei
2nd January 2003ce
Edited 4th March 2003ce

It's kind of a Valley with Stones in. Unambiguous or what. Got lost looking for the Grey Mare but found some long barrows at the northern easterly end of the Black Down enclosure. Fine view down the valley. dickie Posted by dickie
15th April 2002ce

Miscellaneous

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A view from upon high - 23.10.2016

On our way back home to South Wales we made a quick stop-off to have a look at the Valley of Stones.

There is room for one car to park next to the sign post directing you to the valley. There is an information board giving an overview of the valley and how it was formed.

I was hoping to see a 'river of stones' flowing down the valley. I was hoping to use this to help explain to Dafydd and Sophie how the Ice Age helped shape the landscape etc. Unfortunately from our lofty perch we couldn't see any stones! No doubt had we had the time to have walked down the valley we would have seen plenty! However, I was still able to use the landscape to help aid my talk. At least Dafydd found it a bit interesting. Sophie was more interested in the four horses we had passed and was desperate to try to smooth them!
Posted by CARL
23rd October 2016ce

In a paper published in the journal Antiquity (June 1939) entitled "Stone and Earth Circles in Dorset", Stuart & CM Piggott had this to say about The Valley of the Stones.
"This is a most interesting, roughly D-shaped enclosure made of small closely-set stones, and it seems likely that it is to be associated with the surrounding lynchet system, and to have been a cattle enclosure of Iron Age or later date."
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
6th January 2007ce

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English Nature


The valley is also a National Nature Reserve; this is the English Nature webpage for it!
juamei Posted by juamei
19th April 2004ce
Edited 28th May 2009ce