The Stone circle of Doll Thor – England

Doll Tor is a stone circle located just to the west of Stanton Moor, near the village of Birchover, Derbyshire in the English East Midlands. Doll Tor is part of a tradition of stone circle construction that spread throughout much of Britain, Ireland, and Brittany during the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Ages, over a period between 3300 and 900 BCE.

With a diameter of 7 metres, Doll Tor consists of six upright main stones arranged in a circle. Walling consisting of smaller, flat stones was packed between these stones. There is a stone pyramid to the east of the circle.

Doll Tor is near a range of other prehistoric remains, including features associated with both agricultural and ritual activity. It is a prehistoric necropolis of cairns, ring-cairns, standing stones and stone circles”. For example, the Andle Stone is located 230 meters to the southwest, and overlooks the Harthill Moor Stone Circle.

The monument, located on privately-owned land, is currently closed to the public. The stone circle is also a Scheduled Monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act.

By 3000 BCE, the long barrows, causewayed enclosures, and cursuses that had predominated in the Early Neolithic were no longer built, and had been replaced by circular monuments of various kinds.These include earthen henges, timber circles, and stone circles. Stone circles exist in most areas of Britain.

They are most densely concentrated in south-western Britain and on the north-eastern horn of Scotland, near Aberdeen. The tradition of their construction may have lasted 2,400 years, from 3300 to 900 BCE, the major phase of building taking place between 3000 and 1300 BCE.

The number nine was often used as the number of stones in a circle. The date of Doll Tor’s construction remains unknown, although archaeologists have referred to it as Bronze Age.

The first phase involved the creation of the stone circle itself, built from six rocks set upright․The western side of the circle was made from stones that were slightly taller and heavier than those used on the other sides; this could have given the impression of the circle sloping upwards from east to west, while the ground itself sloped downward in this direction.

The orthostats have been erected atop a stony platform that was perhaps created during the original construction process so as to level the ground or to keep the megaliths stable.

In the second phase of construction, stones were used to build up a cairn directly adjacent to the eastern side of the circle. This mound was sub-rectangular in shape. At the eastern end of this cairn was a large flat stone.

Doll Tor has attracted the interest of modern Pagans who have used it to perform rituals.
In the spring of 1993, unknown persons altered the stone circle, increasing the number of orthostats from six to fourteen.

Later, the monument was restored to its maximum original form.

by Nana Gerouni

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