World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Scorhill

Article Id: WHEBN0031040275
Reproduction Date:

Title: Scorhill  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: European megaliths, Five Wells, Barbrook One, Carrigagulla, Clach an Trushal
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Scorhill

Scorhill
Scorhill Stone Circle
Scorhill is located in Devon
Scorhill
Shown within Devon
Location Devon
grid reference SX65378745
Coordinates
Type Stone circle
History
Periods Bronze Age

Scorhill (pronounced Scorill) Stone Circle is now the commonly known name for Gidleigh Stone Circle[1] or Steep Hill Stone Circle, one of Devon's biggest and most intact stone circles, situated on Gidleigh Common near the village of Gidleigh in the north east of Dartmoor, in the United Kingdom. It is an English Heritage scheduled monument and has been described as Devon's finest stone circle.[2]

Description

The circle was constructed in the Bronze Age. It is approximately 27 metres (89 feet) in diameter, and the stones vary in height from 0.85 metres (2 feet 9 inches) to an impressive 2.25 metres (7 feet 5 inches) above ground. Gaps between stones vary in width between 0.6 to 0.9 metres (2 ft 0 in to 2 ft 11 in). There are currently 23 standing stones and 11 recumbent. Characteristic of others in the circle, the largest stone has a distinctive jagged point. It has been noted that, when viewed from the centre of the circle, the sun sets over the stone's tip on Midsummer's Eve, indicating some purpose in archaeoastronomy[3]

Several stones show scars and marks of vandalism by stone cutters including rows of holes on many, arranged in lines so the stones could be split with a wedge.[4] Estimates for the original number of stones have varied between 51 and approximately 70 making it among Devon's widest stone circles with the tallest remaining monolith. Although badly damaged, Scorhill has not been subject to any form of restoration giving it a distinctly ancient atmosphere.[5]

Archaeology

Flint artefacts from around the site on Gidleigh Moor date as far back as 8500 BC during the Mesolithic period and are now held at Torquay Museum.[6]

Folklore

The Tolmen near Scorhill

Scorhill is situated in a landscape of megalithic monuments and features in local stories about horses unwilling to pass through the circle. Some folklore links it to The Tolmen,[7] a stone with a large, donut-shaped hole in it, overhanging a nearby stream. One story of the "faithless wives and fickle maidens" tells the tale of unfaithful women being made to wash themselves in a nearby pool, run around Scorhill three times and then pass through the Tolmen and pray in front of the stones for absolution. Unforgiven women were crushed by a stone, giving the eerie suggestion as to why so many stones have fallen.[8]

Scorhill Stone Circle

Literature

  • Burl, Aubrey, The Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany (Yale University Press) 2000.

References

  1. ^ (Plymouth Institution and Devon and Cornwall Natural History Society, Plymouth) 1830Transactions of the Plymouth institutionRowe, Samuel., Investigations in Dartmoor,
  2. ^ Rowe, Samuel., A Perambulation of the Ancient and Royal Forest of Dartmoor; 3rd edition revised by J Brooking Rowe, p.90, Exeter, 1896.
  3. ^ ) in the Dartmoor National Park, Curlew Publications, 1991.2Hayward, John., Dartmoor 365: an exploration of every one of the 365 square miles (950 km
  4. ^ Butler, Jeremy., Dartmoor atlas of antiquities, Volume 2, Devon Books, p. 192, 1991.
  5. ^ Worth, R Hansford., Worth's Dartmoor, p. 248, David & Charles, 1967.
  6. ^ Torquay Museum Collections archive reference for English Heritage Monument Number 443654
  7. ^ Cf. Dolmen.
  8. ^ St. Leger-Gordon, Ruth E., The Witchcraft and Folklore of Dartmoor, 1972, pp. 50-60; A. Sutton, Body, Mind & Spirit, 1982. Reprinted by Peninsular Press, Newton Abbot, UK, 1994.

External links

  • English Heritage Pastscape
  • Illustrated entry in the Megalithic Portal
  • Map sources for Scorhill
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.