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HER Number:MDV6759
Name:The Grey Wethers southern stone circle

Summary

Southern stone circle of the pair known collectively as The Grey Wethers. The diameter of this 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. 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/17
  • 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 (Article in Serial). SDV344950.

Other details: 153.


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

Other details: 173-342.


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

This is the southernmost of the two circles known as the Grey Wethers. In 1879 it consisted of 7 standing and 20 fallen stones, of which two were nearly buried. By 1891, another stone had become partially buried. None of the fallen stones are likely to have stood much higher than 1.4 meters.


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

(Site visit 19/6/1950) No barrow or sepulchral remains visible inside the circle. Diameter 33.0 meters. Consists of 29 stones, height varying between 1.0 and 1.4 meters. The stones are very regularly spaced, being about 3.5 meters apart.


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

Other details: 204.


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


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.


Department of Environment, 1986, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV326275.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted for re-erection of one stone 1986.


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

The south circle, located on a slight east-facing slope, has an internal diameter of approximately 33 meters with 29 upright stones. The majority of these stones have been re-erected and some are now misaligned; almost all have groups of small packing stones around their bases.


Griffiths, D., 1990, Grey Wethers southern stone circle (Worksheet). SDV344951.

Restoration works undertaken to re-erect one of the fallen stones. The existing stone socket was excavated, revealing nothing of archaeological value. This stone has fallen (and been re-erected by unknown persons) in the past. The southern circle was also planned to scale. Other details: Scale plan attached.


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.

G2. 20 stones standing in restored circle, 35.5 metres in diameter. One axis on low ridge, other on saddle. One of only paired circles on Dartmoor. Positioned at the headwaters of the Dart and Teign rivers. Uniformly rectangular stones.


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

Prior to the restoration by Burnard in 1909, only seven stones remained standing in the southern circle. Both circles originally consisted of 30 stones and appear to have been intended to be identical, with the centres due north and south of each other. Shallow pits evident in the peat within the circles are the result of trail excavations undertaken by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1898, who found a layer of charcoal covering the original ground surface. Other details: 165-6, fig. 35.9.


Gerrard, S., 1997, Untitled Source, 144192 (Un-published). SDV344946.

At SX63868311. The southernmost of two stone circles known as the Grey Wethers.


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. 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.
  • Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 13/04/1947. RAF/CPE/UK/1995. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 2366-7.
  • 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.
  • Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1977. NMR SX6383. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 245-6.
  • 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.
  • Correspondence: Department of Environment. 1986. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. 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.
  • 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.
  • Article in Serial: Baring Gould, S.. 1899. Sixth Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 31. Digital.
  • Aerial Photograph: Devon County Council. 1990. PU. Devon Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 7-10.
  • Report - Survey: Fletcher, M. J.. 1990. Grey Weathers. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Field/Recording In. Unknown.
  • Article in Serial: Allcroft, A. H.. 1922. Unknown. Archaeological Journal. 79. Unknown.
  • Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 1997. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Unknown. 144192.
  • National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
  • Worksheet: Griffiths, D.. 1990. Grey Wethers southern stone circle. A4 Stapled.

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)
MDV6758Related to: The Grey Wethers Northern Stone Circle (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4814 - Field Monument Warden site visit
  • EDV4815 - Site visit to Grey Wethers stone circles
  • EDV4816 - Field Monument Warden site visit
  • EDV4817 - Restoration works at Grey Wethers southern stone circle
  • EDV4818 - Restoration works at Grey Wethers southern stone circle

Date Last Edited:Dec 15 2015 11:28AM