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White Moor Down

Stone Circle, Devon

Photo Tom Bullock

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A difficult, and potentially dangerous, 4km (two-and-a-half-mil)e mostly uphill walk rewards the circle devotee with one of the most impressive sites in England, if not the entire British Isles. In wet weather, the extensive mire just to the north-east of the circle threatens to engulf the walker who strays from the high ground to the west. The writer almost lost it there, so beware. The site is in the heart of the wild, desolate region of Dartmoor, and offers the solitude often sought by the city dweller.

Reconstructed in 1896 after being robbed by stonemasons, farmers and turfcutters, it retains eighteen of its original nineteen stones, although one is leaning and one has fallen. They form a circle some 20m (66 feet) across, and average about 0.9m (3 feet) in height. There are, however, two stones that tower above the average at 1.3m (4 feet 2 inches) and 1.3m (4 feet 5 inches), respectively, the former located in the north and the latter in the south. The former is a broad, sharp-topped slab of stone, whereas the latter is a thinner, flat-tipped pillar. There is a wider gap between the stones in the north-west than the average, and may have served as an entrance.

Access: 4km walk across steep terrain. Map will be needed.
Click here for full page map: Map (use your browser's "Back" button to come back)

Rating: General Impression 5, Ambience 5, Access 1

Images on this page are Tom Bullock

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