A Neolithic burial chamber erected around 3500-2500 BC. This chamber probably contained many burials and would originally have been covered by a long earthen mound. The stones fell down in 1862 and were re-erected in the same year. It was apparently erected by three spinsters before breakfast, hence the name! The name Spinsters Rock was first recorded by William Chapple in 1779. The folk tale he relates is that three Spinsters (meaning spinners of yarn, not unmarried women) put the stones up. In Crossings Guide To Dartmoor (1912) says that Chapple derived the name from "Some Celtic words having much the same sound....and which he says mean an open observatory or stargazing place".
Another version says that a Mysterious Old Man came down from the hills with his three sons, and they built the cromlech. Before disappearing mysteriously off again.
All the above sources mention that this was once a major site with stone rows and associated circles. All now "cleared for agriculture". An act of cultural vandalism that defies words.
There are also references to this site as Shilstone Cromlech and For more go to: Neolithic Sites in Western Europe
Images and Ritual Meanings or to: The Megalithic Portal
Title: Spinster's Rock
3500-2500 BC. Cromlech or Dolman (ancient burial chamber)
Location: Drewsteignton Dartmoor, Devonshire, England
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