Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Sherberton stone circle 315m SSE of Little Sherberton

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5425 / 50°32'32"N

Longitude: -3.9215 / 3°55'17"W

OS Eastings: 263940.928203

OS Northings: 73172.96861

OS Grid: SX639731

Mapcode National: GBR Q7.N6FF

Mapcode Global: FRA 27PM.L17

Entry Name: Sherberton stone circle 315m SSE of Little Sherberton

Scheduled Date: 19 January 1962

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002535

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 463

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Holne St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes a stone circle situated on the crest of a ridge forming the watershed between the valleys of the West Dart and Swincombe Rivers. The stone circle survives as an incomplete ring of stones with a diameter of 29.6m. Nine stones remain standing, which reach an average height of 0.65m. A much larger slab measuring up to 1.5m high has been turned sideways and forms part of a field wall, whilst two recumbent stones over 2m in length lie on the perimeter of the circle. The distance between the stones is variable and the circle has been cut by a field boundary which divided the western quadrant from the rest of the circle and no stones remain standing to the west of this boundary. Some of the stones were removed to be re-used as gate posts.

Sources: DNPA HER:-SX67SW48
PastScape Monument No:-443298
Butler, J., Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, Volume Four - The South-East (1993), 217 - 218

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, major land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. Stone circles, or circular arrangements of upright stones, were set into the ground and acted as ceremonial and funerary monuments during the later Neolithic and Bronze Age periods (c.2400-700 BC). On Dartmoor they are often found in association with stone alignments and burial monuments such as cairns and cists. The circles may be single or enclose further circles; they may occur as isolated examples or in groups. The 26 examples on Dartmoor form one of the densest concentrations of monuments of this type in the country. Due to their relative rarity (with a national population of only some 200 examples) and longevity as a monument type, all stone circles are considered to be nationally important. Despite the removal and reuse of several of its stones, Sherberton stone circle 315m SSE of Little Sherberton is still one of the larger examples of its type on Dartmoor and remains an impressive landmark. Given its close proximity to farm land and enclosures it is of little surprise that several of its stones have been adaptively re-used given the age of the monument. It will still contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, use, ritual significance and landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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