Friday, 11 May 2018
Dartmoor Megaliths: Belstone Nine Stones
I'm currently on holiday on the edge of Dartmoor and have been exploring stone circles. The picture above shows one I visited yesterday.
Nine Stones circle at Belstone, Dartmoor, is slightly oddly named because it actually has 11 upright stones plus some more that are lying down. Apparently there were originally 40 stones.
Inside the stone circle there was once a cairn and a cist, but they have been robbed out.
Nine Stones is up on the moors close to the village of Belstone. However, it isn't easy to spot. It is a small circle, about 7.8m across, and the stones are only about 1m tall. It is easy to miss it among the tall grass and other boulders lying about. I had to climb the nearby tor and look down at the land below to see where it was when I went looking for it yesterday.
According to A Guide to the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany, there is a local legend that the stones are petrified girls who, when the weather conditions are right, can sometimes still be seen dancing at noon. The book says this is possibly caused by a heat haze - rare on Dartmoor.
You can view A Guide to the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany on Amazon.
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