Bronze Age Stone Circle
West of Fernworthy Forest, Dartmoor, Devon OS Map Ref SX63878315
OS Maps - Landranger 191 (Okehampton & North Dartmoor), Explorer OL28 (Dartmoor)
Looking east across the Grey Wethers from the foot of Sittaford Tor
This magnificent double stone circle is located at the foot of Sittaford Tor on a bridge of land between a pair of valleys formed by tributaries of the North Teign River to the north and the East Dart River to the south. Standing 4.5 metres apart, the northern circle consists of 20 upright granite slabs forming a circle of about 32 metres in diameter while the southern circle has 29 stones and is slightly larger at 33 metres. A survey of the site in 1879 gave their diameters as 31.6 metres (north) and 35.5 metres (south), this difference being could accounted for by the fact that the circles were restored in 1909. Between these two dates the circles were excavated by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee who reported a thick layer of charcoal covering the interior area in a similar fashion to Fernworthy Circle which stands just over a mile to the north east. Indeed a photograph of Fernworthy taken in 1907 bears a striking resemblance to the Grey Wethers but whereas the stones of Fernworthy seem to have been shaped in a very basic way (if at all) and vary quite widely in size and shape, here they are much more uniform and all measure between 1 metre and 1.4 metres in height.
The question as to why there are two circles here remains unanswered, could the fact that they stand on an almost north-south axis be important, or was it that the two valleys on either side marked an ancient trackway or trade route with each valley belonging to separate family or tribal group? Did they form the separate meeting place for men and women before some kind of wedding ceremony, perhaps on Sittaford Tor, or were they a place where the recently deceased passed from the land of the living in one circle to the realm of the ancestors in the other? This is a site that poses many more questions than it answers.
Suggested Date : Bronze Age
360 Degree Panoramas
From between the circles South circle