<< Our Photo Pages >> Scorhill - Stone Circle in England in Devon

Submitted by thecaptain on Saturday, 23 October 2004  Page Views: 32803

Neolithic and Bronze AgeSite Name: Scorhill Alternative Name: Gidleigh Circle; Turner G6 Butler (map 38.8)
Country: England County: Devon Type: Stone Circle
Nearest Town: Chagford  Nearest Village: Teigncombe
Map Ref: SX65468738  Landranger Map Number: 191
Latitude: 50.670495N  Longitude: 3.905277W
4Almost Perfect
3Reasonable but with some damage
2Ruined but still recognisable as an ancient site
1Pretty much destroyed, possibly visible as crop marks
0No data.
-1Completely destroyed
4 Ambience:
2Not Good
0No data.
5 Access:
5Can be driven to, probably with disabled access
4Short walk on a footpath
3Requiring a bit more of a walk
2A long walk
1In the middle of nowhere, a nightmare to find
0No data.
3 Accuracy:
5co-ordinates taken by GPS or official recorded co-ordinates
4co-ordinates scaled from a detailed map
3co-ordinates scaled from a bad map
2co-ordinates of the nearest village
1co-ordinates of the nearest town
0no data

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43559959 SolarMegalith whese001 jimstone would like to visit

wildtalents visited on 3rd Jul 2023 - their rating: Cond: 4 Amb: 5 Access: 2 Vicious wind and rain did their best to deter me from the circle. Finally encountering some other humans, a couple of female hikers, I asked "Is there a stone circle round here somewhere..?" They pointed... I was about a hundred yards past it. It is so obvious I can't believe, even now, I had strolled right past. There are some impressive stones in quite a close little huddle, at all sorts of jaggedy angles. Several have fallen, and the ground inside the circle is all bumps and hollows and ditches. Whether this is the result of excavation I don't know. Some of it was rabbits I expect. Watch your footing anyway.

Phillwhite visited on 18th Jun 2021 - their rating: Cond: 3 Amb: 4 Access: 2 Like most of the Dartmoor circle, it's a bit of a trek but worth it.

Monoman visited on 1st Sep 2019 - their rating: Cond: 4 Amb: 5 Access: 3 I visited Scorhill a few years back. The weather was favourable to begin with and then a Bank of cloud rolled in from the north. The atmosphere change noticeably and we soon noticed both our phone batteries had drained down. It's a magical place.

TwinFlamesKiss visited on 1st Apr 2013 - their rating: Cond: 4 Amb: 4 Access: 3 About a half mile nice walk from car park.

graemefield visited on 1st Aug 2008 - their rating: Cond: 3 Amb: 5 Access: 2

woodini254 visited on 16th Mar 1994 - their rating: Cond: 4 Amb: 5 Access: 3

Lazulilou visited - their rating: Cond: 3 Amb: 5 Access: 2

Silkscream visited - their rating: Cond: 5 Amb: 5 Access: 2

SandyG Bladup cazzyjane AngieLake TheCaptain Ahdzib NickyD have visited here

Average ratings for this site from all visit loggers: Condition: 3.75 Ambience: 4.75 Access: 2.38

Scorhill submitted by TheCaptain : Approaching from the north, Scorhill Stone circle was looking magnificent in the low sun, at times glistening in the patchy sunlight. (Vote or comment on this photo)
Scorhill Stone Circle and Standing Stone on Scorhill Down, northeast Dartmoor, with it's dramatic setting on the rugged moorlands makes this 26.8m (88-foot) circle a worthwhile visit.

Only thirty-four stones remain of an original sixty-five to seventy, and only twenty-five of those are still standing. Two cart-tracks run right through the ring, making its appearance even more dramatic. The stones are not evenly spaced, and the tallest, at 2.5m (8 feet 2 inches), is located in the NW. There is a prostrate massive slab,1.8m (6 feet) long and 1.5m (5 feet) wide, slumped at the SSW. The 2.4m (8-foot) pillar at the NW is set radially to the perimeter of the circle, and its alignment with the most northerly moonrise from the centre of the circle might indicate an attempt to incorporate astronomy into the construction of the circle.

Update December 2019: This stone circle with its associated standing stone is recorded as Pastscape Monument No. 443556, as MDV6122 (Stone Circle, Scorhill Down), and scheduled as part of Historic England List Entry No. 1018915 (Scorhill stone circle, three cairns and a length of reave).

The stone circle is also featured on the Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks (PDW) website - see their entries for the Scorhill Stone Circle, the Scorhill Circle Standing Stone and the Schorhill Stone Circle (Walk). PDW describes this site as "one of Dartmoor's most attractive sites".

Access: Short walk from Batworthy Corner, over clapper bridge crossing River North Teign, or a small parking area is available at Scorhill farm.
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Scorhill submitted by wildtalents : The weather must have changed three times or more in the thirty minutes or so I spent at Scorhill S.C. on Dartmoor, summer 2023. Pelting it down with rain to start with so I walked right past... but honestly you can't really miss it! (Vote or comment on this photo)

Scorhill submitted by Monoman : Looking North West awaiting the oncoming cloud Bank. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Scorhill Circle Ritual movement dowse
Scorhill Circle Ritual movement dowse submitted by AngieLake : A dowsing record from 17th September 2008, at Scorhill circle. Another ritual movement/poss dance pattern, with large loops to different compass points. Note the movement at 22 (blue swirl) happened by the black asterix (near No.13), so this would have made move '24' longer, before the 'respect' openings '25' at North and the end of that day's dowsing. Interesting that '4' and '6' loops both t... (Vote or comment on this photo)

Scorhill submitted by Antonine : Photo taken in 2011 (Vote or comment on this photo)

Scorhill submitted by Antonine (Vote or comment on this photo)

Scorhill submitted by Antonine

Scorhill submitted by Antonine

Scorhill submitted by Antonine

Scorhill submitted by Antonine

Scorhill submitted by Antonine : Lots of recumbent stones at the car park, 2011

Scorhill submitted by Antonine : Another look at the wall at the north east car park, 2011

Scorhill submitted by Antonine : Dusk approaching, 2011

Scorhill submitted by Antonine : Photo taken in 2011

Scorhill submitted by Antonine : One of the recumbent stones, 2011

Scorhill submitted by Antonine : Photo taken in 2011

Scorhill submitted by Antonine

Scorhill submitted by Antonine : Northern part with tallest stone, 2011

Scorhill submitted by Antonine : Looking to the south south east, outer edge, 2011

Scorhill submitted by Antonine : Photo taken in 2011

Scorhill submitted by Antonine : With setting sun behind me, 2011

Scorhill submitted by Antonine : Photo taken in 2011

Scorhill submitted by Antonine : Another view south toward the North Teign and location of the Tolmen Stone, 2011

Scorhill submitted by Antonine : Sun setting in the northwest, 2011

Scorhill submitted by Antonine : Kestor? in the background, 2011

Scorhill submitted by Antonine : Looking toward the south, 2011

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Nearby sites listing. In the following links * = Image available
 171m S 172° Scorhill Cairn and Rows* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX65488721)
 303m S 171° The Tolmen Stone (Dartmoor)* Natural Stone / Erratic / Other Natural Feature (SX65508708)
 400m NE 35° Gidleigh Common Cairns Cairn (SX657877)
 640m NNW 345° Buttern Hill settlement* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX6531488003)
 1.1km ESE 118° The Round Pound* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX66398685)
 1.2km NNW 345° Buttern Hill Possible Menhir* Standing Stone (Menhir) (SX6518688544)
 1.2km N 9° Gidleigh Chambered Cairn* Chambered Cairn (SX65678856)
 1.2km NNW 333° Buttern E* Stone Circle (SX6493988475)
 1.2km N 0° Buttern Hill Hut Circle* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX655886)
 1.2km SSE 162° Shovel Down stone circle* Stone Circle (SX65828620)
 1.3km SSE 156° Shovel Down row 2* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX65958620)
 1.3km SSE 159° Shovel Down row 3* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX65898616)
 1.3km SSE 154° Shovel Down row 1* Stone Row / Alignment (SX660862)
 1.4km SSE 159° Shovel Down Fourfold Circle* Stone Circle (SX65958603)
 1.5km SSE 159° Shovel Down* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX65958599)
 1.5km SE 133° Kestor Settlement* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX66538633)
 1.5km SSE 166° Shovel Down Settlement* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX658859)
 1.5km SSE 159° Shovel Down row 4* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX65988595)
 1.5km SE 134° Kes Tor Cairn* Cairn (SX6653286277)
 1.5km ESE 122° Modern Stone Circle near Kestor Rock* Modern Stone Circle etc (SX66748652)
 1.5km SE 134° Kes Tor Rock Basin* Natural Stone / Erratic / Other Natural Feature (SX66558628)
 1.6km SW 222° Shoveldown North West 5 Cairn (SX6438986247)
 1.6km SSE 159° Shovel Down Cairn Row 4* Cairn (SX66008589)
 1.6km NNE 13° Gidleigh North Chambered Tomb (SX6586688971)
 1.7km SSE 159° Shovel Down row 5* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX66028581)
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Re: Scorhill by TheCaptain on Thursday, 08 June 2017
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A Sunny Sunday afternoon on and around Gidleigh Common, 14th March 2010.

I had decided on a Dartmoor walk for quite some while, but due to work and other matters, I hadn’t got around to it until today, and due to lack of daylight hours, decided on just a short walk, out to Buttern Hill stone circle with whatever else fitted in.

The day was lovely and sunny but cold, with a chilly northern wind. The drive down to Dartmoor was uneventful, aiming for the little car parking area at Scorhill. The lanes around the edge of the moor were lovely, full of snowdrops in the hedgerows and wooded streambanks. I headed out onto the moor and over to Buttern Hill stone circle.

From there I walked south towards Scorhill, avoiding the bog as best as I can. The land in the bottom of the valley was very wet and boggy, and hard going, but once onto the western slopes of Buttern Hill, rather than the boggy ground, the going was very easy and direct – almost path like for much of the route.

When I first caught a glimpse of Scorhill Stone circle, approaching from the north, I thought it was a large congregation of people on the slopes of the moor. It was looking magnificent in the low sun, at times glistening in the patchy sunlight. As I arrived at the circle, two people on horses passed through, otherwise I was alone here for best part of half an hour.

I counted 39 stones, many of them like pointy topped teeth sticking out of the ground. It is a great pity so many of the stones have been broken and toppled. One of the remaining standers is much bigger than the others, I wonder why?. Perhaps several were once this size before being broken by stonecutters in the past. One or two stones lay flat to the ground showing the tell tale signs of the cutters, and one or two have been partially dragged away from the circle. Slightly uphill to the northeast, is a further stone standing – perhaps an outlier?

The circle is wonderful, and the views out onto the moor to the west vast. I wonder why I haven’t been here for so long – probably because I see it as an easy find! But being out here today, and this circle is up there with my favourites.

To the south and west of the circle, the Bradford leat partly encircles the circle a distance of between 50 and 100 metres distant. The leat is fairly big deep and fast flowing, and difficult to cross except in a few places. At one point southwest of the circle, the leat has in the past burst to the west, and been repaired using several of the large stones taken from the stone circle. Such a shame.

Although it was now getting quite late, and the sun low, I decided to head on south towards the Teign river, checked out a couple of cairns, crossing over the leat at the stone slab bridge, and headed down towards the Teign, in order to look for the Tolmen stone, which I found straight away! The hole is easily large enough for a man to pass through, but with the river flowing full, would almost certainly have meant getting wet in order to get below it, so I didn’t try.

I headed back to Scorhill circle and the sun has now set, so no time to delay, and took the direct route back to the car. The long journey home was harmless and uneventful. What a lovelyy day out.
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Re: Scorhill as described by R. Hansford Worth in 1932 by AngieLake on Friday, 17 August 2012
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Excerpts from R. Hansford Worth’s Survey of The Prehistoric Monuments of Scorhill, Buttern Hill and Shuggledown (Shoveldown) as read at Paignton on 21st June 1932.
[Reprinted from the Transactions of the Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature, and Art. 1932. – Vol. lxiv, pp. 279-287.]

[References made here to Worth’s plan of Scorhill, which he surveyed on 6th and 7th August 1931 (81 years ago this month!), can be checked out with the copy on Meg P’s Scorhill site page. I set out to try and summarise his article, but it wasn’t easy, so apologies for the length.]

While writing in 1931/2 R. Hansford Worth says Scorhill circle has never been carefully planned, or the plan published, which is surprising as it has been “fully recognized as one of our prinicipal Dartmoor monuments.”
Rowe (of Perambulation) wrote in 1848: “This is by far the finest example of the rude but venerable shrines of Druidical worship in Devonshire.” Hansford Worth says: “It is certainly a fine circle, well placed on ground which slopes to the south and west, and commanding an extensive view of the valleys of the N.Teign and Wallabrook.”

He lists some previous surveys:
Rowe, in the Perambulation, says 20 stones were standing, several having fallen.
Croker, in 1851 (3 years later) says 27 stones formed the circle, of which several were prostrate.
Ormerod, in 1858, says 29 stones were erect, and 2 prostrate.
Murray’s Handbook, 1865, gives 26 standing and 6 fallen, and gives the accurate diameter of the circle (acc. to H. Worth) of 88 ft.
Chudleigh (1st edition ? 1891) reports 23 stones standing, but does not say how many lay fallen… his sketch appears to show 7.
Brooking Rowe, editor of the 3rd edition of his uncle’s work (Perambulation), states that in 1896, 24 stones were standing and 8 had fallen.
Spence Bate, writing in Transactions of the Devonshire Assoc. in 1871, says “There are 31 stones, all of which are in position, excepting 2 which have fallen.”
H. Worth then checked another investigation made by Rowe in 1827-28, when he stated that the stones were “37 in number, 10 of which are fallen.”

He follows this with a table of findings of 14 people (most of the above, from 1827 to 1909 – and himself in 1931) but few agree on the numbers standing (20-29), or fallen (2-10), or on the diameter, which ranges from 72 to 100 ft. He thinks that, when complete, there were probably 65 to 70 stones.
Worth concludes that 24 stones were standing in 1879 and that for many years that had probably been the number. A stone next to, and east of, the cart track on the southern circumference of the circle is shown by Lukis and Andrews as standing but “leaning in”; this has since fallen and is easily identified. It appears to have fallen before Chudleigh’s visit in 1891.
Lukis and Andrews’ [Rev. W. C. Lukis and Col. Andrews] 1879 survey shows that the outlying stone to the S of the circle (which Worth marks in plan as having the “End cut off”) had already been mutilated.

Rowe in Perambulation makes the point that the two tallest stones “yet erect” stood at nearly opposite points in the circle, but these are not diametrically placed. “The angle which they subtend at the centre of the circle is 146⁰-30’-0” and not 180⁰.” He had been informed that their opposition nevertheless had some hidden meaning.
Worth adds that among the fallen stones and those removed there may well have been a rival to that stone that was second in height. He records (the present) tallest stone as being 8’2” in height, and the second tallest as 5’7” (looking at his individual measurements, this one was the 9th stone clockwise from the tallest one.)
Hansford Worth goes on to say that other stones from the circle have found “utilitarian use not far away”.

He mentions the sizes, and

Read the rest of this post...
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Re: Scorhill by Anonymous on Sunday, 13 July 2008
this is the circle shown on the begining of countryfile
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Re: Scorhill by Anonymous on Tuesday, 07 October 2003
Access is actually easier from the car park at scorhill farm
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Re: Scorhill by simcon on Tuesday, 26 August 2003
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WARNING: I've just come back from visiting this site (25/08/2003) and I parked in a lane leading up to Scorhill Down and a local resident is placing notices on the cars in the lane basically stating DO NOT PARK HERE AGAIN and scratching the sides of the cars! My Jaguar was marked on two doors and a local chap had his brand new Audi scratched too. We reported this to the police so they know it is happening so if it happens to you call this number 08705777444 and report it. Remember to KEEP THE NOTICE because it is evidence and the police will request it from you. If your car gets marked don't just drive off else they will keep on doing it. I parked outside a big estate entrance leaving plenty of room and the house address is Lower Park. At the top end of the lane is Scorhill Farm. It's on the OS map reference 661877. This lane is reached from Gidleigh and is a popular parking place for Scorhill access. The local chap whos Audi was damaged says that people always park up the lane because the parking place at the top is too small and he has never experienced anything like this before. Regards, Simon Constable.
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