- Brisworthy - Stone Circle | 2024 Archive

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Brisworthy - Devon, England
Stone Circle
National Grid Reference: SX 564 655

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How To Get There

Head SW out of Princetown along the B3212. At Dousland take a left turn at the cross-roads, follow signs to Burrator Reservoir (there will be a turn off to the left shortly after leaving Dousland). Cross the dam and follow the road to Sheepstor. Here take a right turn along "Portland Lane". After driving about two thirds of a mile up a pretty steep hill you will reach Ringmoor Cottage. There is space to park near here and a footpath leads off to the South over Ringmoor Down. Follow the footpath from here for about half a mile. The circle is on the south facing slopes of Ringmoor Down.

There is a much more direct way to get to this circle involving driving to the hamlet of Brisworthy and following the footpath Northeast from there. I did try this shorter approach only to come across a rather stubborn obstacle.

I parked my car at the end of the lane, pulling well over to make sure that I wouldn't be causing an obstruction to the farm vehicles I could see were around. Before setting out I went to speak with the farmer who was stood nearby to make sure that I wasn't blocking any access. I always go out of my way to be considerate in such matters, this turned out to be the one occasion when I wished I'd not bothered! The farmer gleefully told me that I was okay where I was parked, but if I took one more step towards him I would be trespassing on his farmyard. I pointed out the footpath on my OS map, only to be met with a tirade of unrepeatable language which made it rather plain that people weren't really welcome. I can only imagine that as the footpath seems to lead through his farm yard he's got some kind of dispute over this. It was clear that there would be no reasoning with the man so I left and decided to approach from the North rather than the (closer) South. I had visions of coming back to find my car covered by his muck spreader if I didn't. So, that's why I would recommend that people approach the site from the North. Not only might you avoid a close encounter with an angry farmer, but you do get to see some wonderful views and you can pull in a stone row (Ringmoor Down) on your way to the circle.

The circle, when you finally reach it, is roughly 25 meters in diameter and consists of 24 stones set rather unevenly on the hillside. What visitors see today is the results of restoration carried out in the early 20th Century. Before the restoration only 4 stones remained standing. The others were found buried and re-erected. The north and west seem to be largely intact, most stones seem to be missing from the south and east - the area closest to the nearby stone wall! Most of the stones currently stand around 2 feet high.

If you wish to venture over the farm yard mentioned above then Jeremy Butler mentions a cup marked stone that might well be associated with this circle, set into the wall where the footpath enters the village of Brisworthy.

Also, while you're on Ringmoor Down, there is a fine stone row with a ring cairn about 300 to 400 yards to the north of this circle.

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This prehistoric site has been rescued for historical reasons by History X's archive