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Stone Circle, Cornwall

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hurl.jpg (12880 bytes)On the wild plain of Bodmin Moor is found an unusual site - three stone circles close together. They lie on a NNE.-SSW. line, but are not the same size. The smallest and most southerly is 32m (105 feet) across the central circle is 42m (137 feet) SSE-NNW by 40.5 (133 feet), while the northern circle is hurl3.jpg (12832 bytes)34.7m (114 feet) across. Nine, seventeen and sixteen stones respectively survive; they were carefully erected so that they all appear the same height. Uncommonly, the stones of the central circle were smoothed by hammering, the crystals from the breakages being spread over the interior of the central circle. The tallest stones are at the south in the two northernmost circles.

97.5m (320 feet) to the WSW of the central circle are two standing stones called The Pipers. They lie WSW-ENE of one another, spaced 2.1m (7 feet) apart. One is 1.7m (5 feet 5 inches) tall, the other 1.4m (4 feet 9 inches). Legend has it that they were musicians turned into stone for playing music on the Sabbath. The name "The Hurlers" refers to an old tradition that the circles are men turned to stone. As William Camden wrote in 1587: "The neighbouring inhabitants terme them Hurlers, as being by devout and godly error perswaded that they had been men sometime transformed into stones, for profaning the Lord's Day with hurling the ball."

Access: Well signposted. Car park in village of Minions.
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Rating: General Impression 4, Ambience 4, Access 5

Image to the right Tom Bullock

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Stone Circles and Rows - a photographic tour on CD-ROM
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