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HER Number:MDV6758
Name:The Grey Wethers Northern Stone Circle

Summary

Northern stone circle of the pair known collectively as The Grey Wethers. This circle measures 31.5 meters in diameter and is denoted by 20 upright granite slabs with an average height of 1.1 meters. Excavations carried out by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee towards the end of the 19th century revealed a layer of charcoal covering the original ground surface. A shallow trench visible leading through the southern circle may be the result of this excavation. The circle was restored at this time.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 638 831
Map Sheet:SX68SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 443916
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68SW/16
  • Old SAM County Ref: 464
  • Old SAM Ref: 28680

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • STONE CIRCLE (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 13/04/1947, RAF/CPE/UK/1995, 2366-7 (Aerial Photograph). SDV224714.


Baring Gould, S., 1899, Sixth Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee, 153 (Article in Serial). SDV344950.

The Grey Wethers; two stone circles. The distance between the centres of the circles is about 40 meters. The circles were excavated in 1899. Charcoal was found on the floor, suggesting that it was probably a cremation place for funeral feasts.


Allcroft, A. H., 1922, Unknown, 173-342 (Article in Serial). SDV344949.


Brailsford, J. W., 1938, Bronze Age Stone Monuments of Dartmoor, 448 (Article in Serial). SDV304210.


Worth, R. H., 1939, Two Stone Circles on Dartmoor, Swincombe Valley, and West Dart Valley, with a note on the Grey Wethers, 326-328 (Article in Serial). SDV344944.

The northernmost of the two circles consisted of 9 standing stones and 6 fallen stones in 1879 with 3 holes from which stones had been removed. In 1891, after restoration by Burnard, there were said to be 9 standing stones, 7 fallen and one almost wholly buried. The spacing between the stones was probably originally 3.35 meters centre to centre, giving 29 stones in the north circle and 33 in the south circle. Other details: Figure 7.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX68SW1 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV244063.

(Site visited 19/6/1950) Stone circle diameter 31.5 meters. Consists of 20 stones average height 1.1 meters, which are irregularly spaced varying from 2.9 meters - 4.0 meters apart. No barrow or sepulchral remains are visible inside the circle.


Brown, T., 1961, Tales of a Dartmoor Village, 204 (Article in Serial). SDV238060.


Worth, R. H., 1967, Worth's Dartmoor, 258 (Monograph). SDV337618.


National Monuments Record, 1977, NMR SX6383, 245-6 (Aerial Photograph). SDV244058.


Robinson, R., 1982, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1982 (Un-published). SDV345608.

Department of Environment Field Monument Warden site vist 7th march 1982.


Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Interpretation). SDV319854.

Very clear on Royal Air Force 1947 and National Monuments Record 1977 aerial photographs, each stone being visible, even on the 1947 photograph.


Fletcher, M. J., 1990, Grey Weathers (Report - Survey). SDV344945.

Centred at SX63878314. The Grey Wethers are two well preserved, restored stone circles which are approximately 6.0 meters apart. They are situated in a shallow valley between Sittaford Tor to the west and rising ground to the north-east. The area, under moorland pasture, has been disturbed by desultory amorphous diggings and shallow, natural erosion gullies.
The northern circle, located on a level stance, has an internal diameter of approximately 31.7 meters with 20 upright stones and at least 4 ?socket holes (visible as irregular pits) which are on average 1.0 meter across and 0.3 meters deep. The White Horse leat skirts the north/north-east side.


Devon County Council, 1990, PU, 7-10 (Aerial Photograph). SDV293395.


Turner, J. R., 1990, Ring Cairns, Stone Circles and Related Monuments on Dartmoor, 55, 60, 80 (Article in Serial). SDV229817.

Northern circle is 31.5 meters in diameter with 29 stones standing (restored). One axis on low ridge, other on saddle. One of only paired circles on Dartmoor. At headwaters of Dart and Teign Rivers. Uniformly rectangular stones. Other details: G4.


Butler, J., 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North, 165-6 (Monograph). SDV219155.

Other details: Figure 35.9.


Gerrard, S., 1997, Untitled Source, 144191 (Un-published). SDV344946.

Stone circle at SX63878316. The northernmost of two stone circles known as the Grey Wethers. Some erosion around some stones, but generally very stable.


Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

'The Grey Wethers Stone Circles (restored)' depicted on the modern mapping. Map object based on this Source.


English Heritage, 2011, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV347072.

The monument, which falls into six areas, includes two stone circles, three round cairns, two ring cairns and an oval enclosure lying at the head of three separate rivers within Great Stannon Newtake. The stone circles known collectively as The Grey Wethers, lie adjacent to each other and are very similar in size and character. The northern circle measures 31.5 meters in diameter and is denoted by 20 upright granite slabs with an average height of 1.1 meters. The diameter of the southern circle is 33 meters and includes 29 standing stones varying in height between 1.0 and 1.4 meters. Excavations carried out by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee towards the end of the 19th century revealed a layer of charcoal covering the original ground surface. A shallow trench visible leading through the southern circle may be the result of this excavation (scheduled 1962, amended 1999). Other details: SAM ID: 28680.

Sources / Further Reading

  • Monograph: Butler, J.. 1991. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Two. Paperback Volume. 165-6.
  • Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 13/04/1947. RAF/CPE/UK/1995. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 2366-7.
  • Article in Serial: Turner, J. R.. 1990. Ring Cairns, Stone Circles and Related Monuments on Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 48. Paperback Volume. 55, 60, 80.
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX68SW1. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
  • Article in Serial: Brown, T.. 1961. Tales of a Dartmoor Village. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 93. Unknown. 204.
  • Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1977. NMR SX6383. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 245-6.
  • Article in Serial: Allcroft, A. H.. 1922. Unknown. Archaeological Journal. 79. Unknown. 173-342.
  • Article in Serial: Brailsford, J. W.. 1938. Bronze Age Stone Monuments of Dartmoor. Antiquity. 12. 448.
  • Monograph: Worth, R. H.. 1967. Worth's Dartmoor. Worth's Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 258.
  • Report - Survey: Fletcher, M. J.. 1990. Grey Weathers. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Field/Recording In. Unknown.
  • Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1939. Two Stone Circles on Dartmoor, Swincombe Valley, and West Dart Valley, with a note on the Grey Wethers. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 71. A5 Hardback. 326-328.
  • Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 1997. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Unknown. 144191.
  • Interpretation: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
  • Aerial Photograph: Devon County Council. 1990. PU. Devon Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 7-10.
  • Article in Serial: Baring Gould, S.. 1899. Sixth Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 31. Digital. 153.
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
  • National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
  • Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1982. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1982. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout.

Associated Monuments

MDV20908Related to: Cairn in Great Stannon Newtake (Monument)
MDV6806Related to: Cairn lying 280 metres east of the Grey Wethers stone circles (Monument)
MDV20917Related to: Large cairn 410 metres east-north-east of the Grey Wethers Stone Circles (Monument)
MDV6754Related to: Pound 320 metres south-east of the Grey Wethers stone circles (Monument)
MDV110432Related to: Sittaford stone circle, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV20909Related to: Small cairn 430 metres east-north-east of the Grey Wethers Stone Circles (Monument)
MDV6759Related to: The Grey Wethers southern stone circle (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Dec 15 2015 11:27AM