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Devon — Miscellaneous

Any visitors intending to spend more than a day or so on Dartmoor should consider investing in the following publications:

Petit, P. (1974/1995) Prehistoric Dartmoor. Forest Publishing, Newton Abbott. ISBN 0951527460


Crossing, W. (1912/1990) Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor (2e). Peninsula Press, Kingskerswell ISBN 1872640168

Hurston Ridge (Stone Row / Alignment) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Hurston Ridge</b>Posted by RedBrickDream<b>Hurston Ridge</b>Posted by RedBrickDream

Challacombe (Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue) — Images

<b>Challacombe</b>Posted by RedBrickDream<b>Challacombe</b>Posted by RedBrickDream

Langstone Moor Stone Circle — Images

<b>Langstone Moor Stone Circle</b>Posted by RedBrickDream

Langstone Moor Stone Circle — Fieldnotes

Although less than a kilometre away as the crow flies, and clearly visible from Langstone Moor Stone Row, this runied circle requires some dedication to reach it. "Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor" published in 1912 warns of the dangers of the bog on PeterTavy Great Common - a warning which is still valid today! A splendid view of the Great Mis Tor, the local ponies, cattle and an ominous looking "murder" of crows (who were just hanging out at trhe circle when we arrived) is afforded from the circle. It is now in a sorry state runied once and then re-erected by the miltary and now little under 100 years later it's been ruined by them once again.

Langstone Moor Stone Row (Stone Row / Alignment) — Images

<b>Langstone Moor Stone Row</b>Posted by RedBrickDream<b>Langstone Moor Stone Row</b>Posted by RedBrickDream

Langstone Moor Stone Row (Stone Row / Alignment) — Fieldnotes

It's easy to miss this row. Granted the standing stone's a whopper. But, on arriving you could miss the row altogether and wander like fools around the area to the north of the stone until you notice a 300 foot line of stumpy stones poking up through the grass and moss with the line ending at the standing stone (I speak from bitter experience). I don't ever recall seeing such an "unbalanced" arrangement and wonder if the standing stone was added much later. Petit (Prehistoric Dartmoor 1974: 131) reports that the row was "discoverd" in 1893 by Baring Gould. The 9 foot terminal stone was re-erected the follwing year by order of the Duke of Bedford but was used for target practice during WW2. Shell-marks are clearly visible in the photograps posted below.

Langstone Moor Stone Row (Stone Row / Alignment) — Images

<b>Langstone Moor Stone Row</b>Posted by RedBrickDream

Langstone Moor Stone Circle — Fieldnotes

The remote Langstone Moor is located on the edge of the Merrivale Firing Range "Danger Area", and thus is inaccessible at certain times of the year. To access the Moor you'll need to be prepared to walk for more than 90 minutes from your car - if parked at Peter Tavy - or to get up out of the saddle of your Mountain Bike. The area is dominated by White Tor (468 metres above sea level) to the West and the Great Mis Tor (538) to the south. The walk to the foot of White Tor past Stephen's Grave (marking the cross-roads burial spot of a suicide victim who killed himself when he discovered his betrothed had been unfaithful to him) is a well defined track littered with spent bullets. After that the footpath becomes more indistinct. You'll need a map with you and a compass in case of bad weather. Langstone Moor Circle comes into view on then right but do not attempt to walk directly there from the footpath - there's a very sticky bog in the way! The tall standing stone marks the eastern end of a poorly defined row. Both the stone and the circle were re-erected in 1894 but both have suffered from damage caused by military operations on the Moor. The poorly defined "Lich path" which cuts across Langstone Moor continues eastwards towards Conies Down and Beardown Man standing stone.

Challacombe (Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue) — Images

<b>Challacombe</b>Posted by RedBrickDream

Altar (Wedge Tomb) — Fieldnotes

August 2003

A welcoming site. Well signposted, easy access, own parking spot, interpretation board, no neighbours.

Pity about all the dog poo though.

Altar (Wedge Tomb) — Images

<b>Altar</b>Posted by RedBrickDream

Conies Down (Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue) — Fieldnotes

24 July 2004

BEWARE! Mrs RBD and myself lost our way and nerve on open moorland attempting to find this double stone row at the weekend. The path towards it from Langstone Moor is indsistinct and I think we cocked-up on Cocks Moor. When the weather changes - as it did both quickly and spectacularly for us you'll need a compass - we alas, didn't have one. At 1600 feet above sea level Burl and Petit report that this is the highest row on the moor.

In "From Carnac to Calanish" (1993) Burl rates this site as a "3" - runied but recognisable. This is the same grading as that given to nearby Langstone Stone Row which we had earlier walked through without recognising the ruin!

Park at Smeardon Down and take a compass. Good Luck.

Amongst Crossing's (1912) helpful advice on how to avoid getting lost on Dartmoor is a memorable line about turning your jacket inside out so that the pixies can't bewitch you!

Bedd Arthur (Stone Row / Alignment) — Images

<b>Bedd Arthur</b>Posted by RedBrickDream

Bohonagh (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Bohonagh</b>Posted by RedBrickDream

West Saddlesborough Stone Row & Cairn Circle (Stone Row / Alignment) — Images

<b>West Saddlesborough Stone Row & Cairn Circle</b>Posted by RedBrickDream<b>West Saddlesborough Stone Row & Cairn Circle</b>Posted by RedBrickDream

West Saddlesborough Stone Row & Cairn Circle (Stone Row / Alignment) — Fieldnotes

July 2003

This was a difficult one to find. The area is rich in hut circles, cairns and naturally occuring boulders. After an hour or so of wandering about and taking endless photographs of likely looking "alingnments", I spotted the real thing. The stone close to the warning sign for the quarry marks the northern, lower terminal. In general though the stones were barely visible above the summer grass and were consequently difficult to capture on film. There IS a row here though, running N-S. Burl (Caranc to Calanish, p 237) claims that it's 179 metres long.

Cloontreem (Wedge Tomb) — Images

<b>Cloontreem</b>Posted by RedBrickDream

Cloontreem (Wedge Tomb) — Fieldnotes

Although badly ruined this site is well worth a visit for the fine views it offers over Bear Haven and the fact that it's on that rare thing in the West of Ireland: a public footpath. In August 2003 we parked at Gortagenerick and made the long climb up into the Slieve Mishkish Mountains to join the Beara Way. After a three-hour trek during which time we encountered numerous abandoned cars and dead animals - sheep mostly - and just as we were giving up hope of ever finding this tomb we dropped down into a hollow and there it was on a small ledge to the East of Eagle Hill looking out over Bear Island. Perfect.

Burford Down (Stone Row / Alignment) — Images

<b>Burford Down</b>Posted by RedBrickDream<b>Burford Down</b>Posted by RedBrickDream

Burford Down (Stone Row / Alignment) — Miscellaneous

"Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor" (1912) has this to say about the row:

Not far from the rock [Tristis Rock] there is a single stone row which starts from a ruined circle and runs North for a distance of 400 yards and consists of 112 stones (p 401).

Paul Petit's (1974) "Prehistoric Dartmoor" adds the following:

The lower end [Northern] was originally marked by a tall stone, now cut in two. The base is 4ft wide and rsies over 2ft out of the ground at an angle, so that the stone was leaning when cut. Presumably this was done by a mason in search of a gate post who then abandoned it, leaving a slab over 7ft long and tapering to a breadth of 2 and a half ft lying on the ground. It must have been an impressive terminal, comparable to those at Laughter Tor and on Langstone Moor. (p 135)

Burford Down (Stone Row / Alignment) — Fieldnotes

Park at Harford and follow the river up the valley. This N-S row is about 500m long and is the southernmost of the the three rows which stretch out into the Erme valley. The stones are often small, but fairly evenly spaced and offer good sport in tracing their line down towards Yadsworthy Waste. A cairn at the southernmost end of the row lies parallel with Tristis Rock which dominates both Burford Down and the lower Erme valley. It rained all day when I visited in July 2003. This was the day that I decided that paying the extra money for a waterproof map was worthwhile after all.

Brisworthy Stone Circle — Images

<b>Brisworthy Stone Circle</b>Posted by RedBrickDream

Ringmoor Cairn Circle and Stone Row (Stone Row / Alignment) — Images

<b>Ringmoor Cairn Circle and Stone Row</b>Posted by RedBrickDream

Stalldown Stone Row (Stone Row / Alignment) — Images

<b>Stalldown Stone Row</b>Posted by RedBrickDream

Challacombe (Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue) — Miscellaneous

Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor (1912 but frequently reprinted - ie 1990 Peninsula Press) is an invaluable aid for a trip to the area. I discovered this book in the library of an excellent bed and breakfast in Chagford and rushed out to buy a copy from a local bookshop the next day. Crossing has this to say about Challacombe:

Here we shall come across a triple stone row, the existence of which was recorded in 1830, but at that time the whole of the stones composing it were lying on the ground. A few years ago they were re-erected so that the visitor has now something to look at, but whether he will be able to find any interest in what is only a late 19th century erection, formed out of old material and on an ancient plan is another matter. No real antiquarian interest can attach to such an erection as this, [but] at the same time we are constrained to admit that rebuilding is preferable to allowing the stones to lie upon the turf, and this even at the risk of it being said (and it has been said) that on Dartmoor you can be supplied with stone monuments "while you wait".

Challacombe (Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue) — Fieldnotes


Sitting at the car park below Grimspound with the map across the dash board we reckoned we had a pretty good idea where this row was. Much better in fact than the walkers we could see doubling back on themselves in the rough ground above Headland Warren. Were they trying to find the rows too? We decided to walk up to Grimspound and from there skirt Hookey Tor, cross the road and then pick up the footpath around the farm. After climbing for a few hundred yards we decided we needed to be turning to the left just as some gateposts came into view.


Far from gateposts these were in fact, the eastern end of a fine 160 metre triple row of stones. They looked quite different to the pictutre I'd held in my mind's eye. The three black and white images in Burl's From "Carnac to Callanish" suggest a much more exposed position. Instead these stones were fighting their way through the bracken, helped it must be said by a recent burn to the vegetation.

We took dozens of photographs of the male and female pairs and walked the row several times. My most striking and lasting impression was that the triangular terminal stone on the horizon at the "top" of the row was almost wafer thin.

Challacombe is on a direct line and about half way between Grimspound and the Warren Inn and despite being clearly visible from both of these honeypots it seems sadly ignored.

Hurston Ridge (Stone Row / Alignment) — Fieldnotes


After refuelling at the nearby pub - the third highest in England no less - we set off on the Two Moors Way from Bennet's Cross to Hurtson Ridge. As so often happens, Mrs RBD and myself wandered off the way-marked path too soon and were soon orientating ourselves alongside the edge of Fernworthy Forest.

"We can't have missed them?"

"There's a stone - oh no that's a sheep"

A brief chat about sheep, greywethers and the guy who bought the double stone circle on the other side of the hill in the mistaken belief that they were livestock ensued by which time we had spotted the menhir at the southern end of the row on the horizon in front of us.

Wow! With so many rows on Dartmoor it would be easy to take them for granted but the setting and size of this row marks it out as something special. We walked the row several times sharing the stones with Dartmoor Ponies who seemed pleased to see us.

Walking down this double row so soon after visiting the fine multiple rows at Challacombe, the male/female pairings were plain to see.

Teergonean (Court Tomb) — Images

<b>Teergonean</b>Posted by RedBrickDream<b>Teergonean</b>Posted by RedBrickDream

Teergonean (Court Tomb) — Fieldnotes

August 2003. Notes made with sun-burnt feet. (Damm those walking sandals!)

It was difficult but we made it! If you're going to walk out of one of the many agreeable pubs in the self-styled folk music capital of Ireland before closing time then there's got to be a good reason. On what turned out to be the hottest day of the year, we set off from Fisherstreet to the Teergonean crossroads and turned left towards the sea.

After passing a runied church and a few rustic caravans we found ourselves on yet another dusty track in the west of Ireland looking for something megalihic. This was our first Court Tomb however. Having already bought the revised "Book of the Burren" we knew what we were looking for:

"At Teergonean only four stones of this [fore]court survive but the stumps of others can be detected. Originally the forecourt was probably almost semi circular, the tallest and most imposing of the upright stones flanking the narrow entrance to the long rectangular burial gallery" (p 61).

The constant references to this tomb's ruinous state do not prepare the walker for the site that awaits them. Less than a half a mile from some typically spectacular Burren coastline is a well proportioned and neat little court tomb. Its a tough one, but of all the tombs I've visited I think the only one that I'd like to make that final journey in more than this one would be Pentre Ifan.

This seems to be a little visited place which is surprising given its proximity to Doolin's hostels and campsite and the many references made to it in the Book of the Burren.

We camped in nearby Doolin for a week and returned on several ocassions. You should, at the very least, make a day of a visit here and walk back along the coast for that full Burren effect!

Shronebirrane (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Shronebirrane</b>Posted by RedBrickDream

Shronebirrane (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

Observations based upon a visit in August 2001.

This multiple stone circle is a delight despite the close proximity of a newly built bungalow. Having seen pictures of this Circle on Clive Ruggles' website I was surprised to find just how close the dwelling was to the site and how deeply it nestles in the Drimminboy valley.

We followed a fox on the the long road south from Lauragh which pierces the foothills of the Tooth Mountain.

On arriving, I sat with my back to the bungalow, looked north and felt the sun on my face as my childern played quietly amongst the stones. Children of a similar age living nearby looked on suspiciously whilst we counted the 9 stones and wondered where the other four had gone. This place lacks the majesty of nearby Drombohilly and the order of Ardgroom but it remains an excellent example of a Stone Circle and is well worth a visit.

The Waters (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>The Waters</b>Posted by RedBrickDream

The Waters (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Miscellaneous

Penelope Durell's (1996) otherwise excellent book, Discover Dursey, makes an error in publishing C. Cullen's photo (p 216) of a stone which bears little resemblance to the one which is actually found at this site.

The Waters (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

The walk to this stone on the dusty track from the Cable Car to Kilmichael is a long one. With the weather turning against us and the very real fear that we could be stranded on the island overnight we didn't stay long. The stone is clearly visible from the track and is on boggy ground. The name "The Waters", mentioned in Durell's 1996 book Discover Dursey seemed a rather unromantic name for a stone in such a fine Westerly setting. The stone itself is about 1 metre high and is orientated NW-SE

Gort na Gainimhe (Standing Stones) — Images

<b>Gort na Gainimhe</b>Posted by RedBrickDream

Gort na Gainimhe (Standing Stones) — Fieldnotes

After managing to get to Dursey (via Cable Car) it's a relief to encounter solid ground. A 45 minute walk from the cable car brings you to a site which makes the hair raising journey across Dursey Sound seem worthwhile. On a visit in 2003 however we were not able to access the field in which the stones are situated as one of the few inhabitants* left on the island was erecting a barbed wire fence on the field boundary between Dursey's only road and Gort na Gainihime and refused us access when we explained that we'd come all this way to see his stones. Typical! Still, two years earlier on a gloriously sunny day, and with no farmer in sight, we scrambled down alongside the stream locals refer to as "The Big River", and up a bank to reach the stones.

Durell (1996: 211) reports that the stone is 1.8m high, 95cm wide and 65cm deep and has a recumbent stone beside it. She also gives directions to Rock Art in the same field but despite some efforts we couldn't find any trace of the stone in question.

*Penelope Durell (1996) in her excellent Discover Dursey (Ballinacarriga Books: Allihiles) observes that the permanent population of the island is now down to single figures. If you're going to Dursey you'll need this book and a head for heights.

Creswell Crags (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Fieldnotes

Pleased to see that Stubob's put this site on the map. I've visited this place a couple of times but sadly have no photos to post here.

A strange place this - I recollect that the air was very still last time we visited, almost oppressive. Visually this is similar to a scaled down version of Cheddar Gorge but, thankfully without the tourist coaches parked at the bottom. The caves are largely fenced off from the public but a winding walk around the valley floor takes the visitor past each fancifully named cave.


Whilst you're in "the Dukeries" pop into the grounds of nearby Rufford Park for some food and a look at the gallery. I've posted up a review on the facilities section.

Wibdon Broadstone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Spotted this from, of all places a seat on the 10:25 Cardiff to London train, diverted around the Severn because the tunnel was closed. 5 minutes out of Chepstow on the left hand side when travelling east was a quite unmistakable standing stone.

The stone is approximately 50 feet away from the line and looks as if it's at least 5 foot high. After checking the OS map I've found this is recorded as "the broadstone" (as if there's not enough of those already on this site!). From the impression I gleaned from the train window this is a big old fella' of a stone which looks out across the severn. Spotting or Snapping it from a moving train will be a challenge for TMA-ers and will certainly enliven my next journey on this line. Access on foot looks as if it would be from High Hall Farm at Wibdon on the A48 about three miles out of Chepstow.

Coate Stone Circle — Miscellaneous

The following extract comes from Aubrey Burl's Prehistoric Avebury (1979). Yale University Press, New Haven. p 237. [My comments in parentheses].

Much farther away, nine miles to the north of Avebury are the fallen pillars of the Coate Circle, prostrate and three-quarters covered in turf but when A.D. Passmore probed the ground [research published in 1894] he found several were up to three metres long. Like Langdean [also known as Little Avebury] there was the suggestion of an avenue leading to the ring from the north [the course of the existing DayHouse Lane, past the Richard Jefferies Museum back towards Swindon]. It has been thought that Richard Jefferies first recognised the remains of this ring and, undoubtedly, he had an affinity with the people who had moulded the ancient landscape before him. [...]

In the case of Coate, however it was John Aubrey, two hundred years before Jefferies who wrote that "at Broome near Swindon in Wiltshire", hardly a mile from Coate, "in the middle of a pasture ground called Long-stone is a great Stone ten foot high (or better) standing upright", the ruin of a circle with a row of stones " in a right line" leading to it.

Coate Stone Circle — Images

<b>Coate Stone Circle</b>Posted by RedBrickDream

Nine Ladies of Stanton Moor (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Nine Ladies of Stanton Moor</b>Posted by RedBrickDream<b>Nine Ladies of Stanton Moor</b>Posted by RedBrickDream<b>Nine Ladies of Stanton Moor</b>Posted by RedBrickDream
Showing 1-50 of 161 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
30-something Wiltshireman now living in Cardiff. When not at work (as a housing academic) or coaching a local junior football team I'm often to be found with my camera at sites listed on TMA

Apart from Swindon's County Ground some of my favourite places include:
The Polisher

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