Stanton Drew Stone Circles and Cove, Stanton Drew, Somerset
Stanton Drew Stone Circles and Cove in Somerset are the third largest complex of prehistoric standing stones in England and are believed to be over 4,500 years old. They aren’t so widely known or talked about as the bigger sites at Avebury and Stonehenge - probably because they’re off the beaten track on private farmland and haven’t been excavated.
There are three circles and a three stone cove; the biggest circle, known as The Great Circle has 26 standing stones and a diameter of 370ft; The Cove, which stand between the village pub and the church in the quiet village of Stanton Drew, would undoubtedly been used for ritual ceremonies in ancient times. The stones aren’t without their folklore; one particular tale goes that one Saturday night a wedding party danced in the meadow long into the night. When the clock struck midnight the fiddler stopped playing because he didn’t want to play on a Sunday. A replacement picked up where he left off, upping the tempo so that the dancers spun faster and faster to keep up with him – until exhausted, they turned to stone. The bride, groom and parson tried to run away but they too were petrified and still stand as the three stones of The Cove. Legend has it that the second fiddler was none other than the devil himself.
Believe what you will, if this is the kind of thing that ignites your curiosity, go and have a look round; those that do say they feel rather privileged to have seen the circles. Bear in mind that access is entirely at the landowner’s discretion and that there’s a small fee payable; the other thing is that dogs aren’t allowed as there’s usually livestock in the fields. Watch where you step.
All information correct at the time of writing