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HER Number:MDV7395
Name:Site of Eight Rocks stone circle, South Tawton


Site of a stone circle, since destroyed, originally thought to have been located somewhere between Cosdon Hill and Ford Farm, South Tawton. Nothing remains today; the circle was apparently robbed out in the later 19th century by men from Ramsley Copper Mine, South Zeal.


Grid Reference:SX 645 925
Map Sheet:SX69SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSouth Tawton
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSOUTH TAWTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX69SW51
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 619302
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX69SW/66

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • STONE CIRCLE? (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC (Between) to 701 BC (Between))
  • REAVE (Bronze Age - 2200 BC (Between) to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor, pg 213 (Monograph). SDV320981.

Crossing records that it “is not so many years since that monument formerly known in the locality as Eight Rocks disappeared”. He states the feature consisted of eight upright stones, forming either a stone row or a circle (and he believes the latter was more likely). The stones are said to have stood on the northern end of the hill, on the slope above Ford. “Children in the neighbourhood used to be told that when the Eight Rocks heard the South Tawton bells they would be seen to dance”.

St. Leger-Gordon, D., 1954, Under Dartmoor Hills (Monograph). SDV279174.

St Leger-Gordon records that “the Eight Stones, another fine circle which once stood upon a shoulder of Cosdon Beacon above Sticklepath, was completely removed to provide walls for a new enclosure. The copper mine on Ramsley Common, was responsible inn around 1870 for the disappearance of a third”.

Grinsell, L. V., 1976, Folklore of Prehistoric Sites in Britain, pg 95 (Monograph). SDV304171.

At SX645-925. A stone row or stone circle called Eight Rocks, long ago destroyed. The stones danced when they heard the church bells of South Tawton.

Hemery, E., 1983, High Dartmoor, 833 (Monograph). SDV249702.

Crossing says that the Eight Rocks stone circle stood at the northern end of Cosdon (Cawsand) Hill on the slope above Ford, and were destroyed in the later C19th. D. St. Leger-Gordon in 'Under Dartmoor Hills' is confident it was a stone-circle, the stones being removed ca 1870 by men of the nearby Romiley Common copper mine at South Zeal. A reave crosses the hill from west to east.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP (Cartographic). SDV319854.

Not visible on 1946 Royal Air Force aerial photographs.

Quinnell, N. V., 1995, Comment recorded in SMR (Personal Comment). SDV279180.

(22/03/1995) Probably not a stone row, but a destroyed circle. The Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments in England obviously refers to same monument as Grinsell, but his grid reference is better. Crossing (1912) places it 'at the north end of the hill on the slope above Ford' (i.e.: Ford Farm). St. Leger-Gordon says 'on a shoulder of Cosdon Beacon. Removed to provide walls for a new enclosure. The copper mine on Ramsley Common was responsible around 1870 for the disappearance of a third'. Hemery disputes some of Crossing’s directions, but suggests the circle was near a reave which crosses the north-east shoulder of the hill. Not investigated by the Ordnance Survey in 1970s.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV249702Monograph: Hemery, E.. 1983. High Dartmoor. High Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 833.
SDV279174Monograph: St. Leger-Gordon, D.. 1954. Under Dartmoor Hills. Under Dartmoor Hills. Unknown.
SDV279180Personal Comment: Quinnell, N. V.. 1995. Comment recorded in SMR. Unknown.
SDV304171Monograph: Grinsell, L. V.. 1976. Folklore of Prehistoric Sites in Britain. Folklore of Prehistoric Sites in Britain. Unknown. pg 95. [Mapped feature: #47863 ]
SDV319854Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV320981Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. pg 213.

Associated Monuments

MDV6940Related to: Ramsley Copper Mine, South Tawton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jun 29 2022 11:13AM