Saturday, 24 August 2013

Damage Barton standing stones

I went away last weekend to the Wollecombe area of North Devon. I have taken to looking-up any travel destination on the Megalithic Portal to see if there are menhirs nearby. As luck would have it, two were listed as lying close to the camp site where we were pitched. Early on Sunday morning I struck out down the lush lanes for the site. A helpful local, accompanied by a slightly confused dog, pointed the way and we crashed through the rich vegetation to reach the field.

I only saw one of the stones, but it had an excellent aspect across the landscape. To the West was the valley containing the camp site, while to the South East rose the hills which crept inland. Although the exact reason why these stones were erected will likely never be known, it is no surprise that the location was chosen. Although I don't subscribe to the notion that there are mysterious lines of power running through the land, I do wholeheartedly agree that psychogeographic nexuses surround us. It is these I feel most strongly at such megalithic sites.

Bereft of my guide and his canine, I came back at a more leisurely pace. As I ducked through the mossey trees and nettles I came across the ruins of what might have been a house. The walls were made of the same stacked shale which is used in place of stones or bricks in the region. Trees had erupted amidst the broken piles of rock, creating a fusion of creepers, roots and sharp angled habitation. Moving on, I passed along a track which ran down a tunnel of overhanging trees. Images of Tolkien came to mind and the vulnerability our ancestors would have felt when bandits, bears and wolves roamed the land.


  1. Really cool. And this Psychogeography sounds interesting...

  2. Sounds like a fun day . I was looking into ogham stones a while back, I found researching the early language used on them very interesting. Nice lo-fi lomo photographs too.

  3. Lovely, atmospheric description and great photos. What a wonderful way to spend a morning. I often find myself imagining a possible orc ambush if I walk along a particularly evocative woodland trail ...