Ancient Monuments

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Large regular stone circle 560m north east of Leaze

A Scheduled Monument in St. Breward, Cornwall

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5656 / 50°33'56"N

Longitude: -4.6324 / 4°37'56"W

OS Eastings: 213667.427389

OS Northings: 77289.361263

OS Grid: SX136772

Mapcode National: GBR N6.FPX6

Mapcode Global: FRA 175K.YXG

Entry Name: Large regular stone circle 560m north east of Leaze

Scheduled Date: 13 December 1929

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006692

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 123

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Breward

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Breward

Church of England Diocese: Truro

Details

The monument includes a large, regular stone circle situated on Emblance Downs overlooking the valley of the De Lank River. The stone circle survives as a ring of 14 stones; ten are upright and four recumbent, with at least three pits denoting missing stones. The entire circle is bisected by a field bank. The stone circle has a diameter of approximately 24.8m and the upright stones are placed approximately 3.7m apart. The tallest stone is 1.1m high. Originally the ring contained at least 22 stones. Further archaeological remains in the vicinity are the subject of separate schedulings. The field wall is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath is included.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-433138

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. Stone circles are prehistoric monuments comprising one or more circles of upright or recumbent stones. The circle of stones may be surrounded by earthwork features such as enclosing banks and ditches. Single upright stones may be found within the circle or outside it and avenues of stones radiating out from the circle occur at some sites. Burial cairns may also be found close to and on occasion within the circle. Stone circles are found throughout England, although they are concentrated in western areas, with particular clusters in upland areas such as Bodmin and Dartmoor in the south-west and the Lake District and the rest of Cumbria in the north-west. This distribution may be more a reflection of present survival rather than an original pattern. Where excavated they have been found to date from the Late Neolithic to the Middle Bronze Age (c.2400-1000 BC). It is clear that they were designed and laid out carefully, frequently exhibiting very regularly spaced stones, the heights of which also appear to have been of some importance. We do not fully understand the uses for which these monuments were originally constructed but it is clear that they had considerable ritual importance for the societies that used them. In many instances excavation has indicated that they provided a focus for burials and rituals that accompanied interment of the dead. Some circles appear to have had a calendrical function, helping mark the passage of time and seasons, this being indicated by the careful alignment of stones to mark important solar or lunar events such as sunrise or sunset at midsummer or midwinter. At other sites the spacing of individual circles throughout the landscape has led to a suggestion that each one provided some form of tribal gathering point for a specific social group. Of the 150 or so stone circles identified in England sixteen are located on Bodmin Moor. Despite the removal of some of the stones and the erection of a field wall the large regular stone circle 560m north east of Leaze survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, function, longevity, ritual and funerary practices, social and territorial significance and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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