Dolmens in England

England is home to some fascinating ancient sites, including stone circles and dolmens (cromlechs). A dolmen is a type of single-chamber tomb, usually consisting of two or more vertical stones supporting a large horizontal capstone. Here we list five dolmens that are worth a visit when travelling in England.


Trethevy Quoit is an impressive portal dolmen (cromlech) consisting of five standing stones capped by a large stone. There is also a rear stone which once collapsed and now lies inside the chamber. It's believed that the whole structure was originally covered by a mound. The monument is almost 2.7 meters high and dates to the early Neolithic period, around 3500-2500 BC. At the upper end of the capstone is a porthole which may have been used for astronomical observation. However, some people suggest that the hole was drilled there for decoration purposes.


Spinster's Rock is a Neolithic dolmen situated in a farm field near Drewsteignton in Devon. The dolmen consist of three granite stones supporting a capstone. The monument was erected around 3500 - 2500 BC, but fell down in 1862. It was re-erected in the same year. It's believed that Spinster's Rock was once part of a ceremonial site including stone circles and stone rows. Unfortunately, Spinster's Rock is the only remaining feature of this ceremonial site.


The Hoar Stone is part of the ruins of a Neolithic portal dolmen consisting of three upright stones. A fourth stone lies flat on the ground nearby and is almost certainly the remains of the capstone. It's believed that the monument was originally surrounded by a low ring cairn which is no longer visible.


Arthur's Stone is a Neolithic dolmen believed to be 5,000 years old. The tomb is topped by a large capstone which is broken with a large section fallen from its underside. The capstone rests on nine upright stones and weights more than 25 tonnes. These stones were once part of the inner chamber and they were once covered by a long earthen mound. It's unlikely that the monument was built solely as a tomb. It's believed that the Neolithic people could have gathered at the cairn to worship their ancestors. The tomb has never been excavated, but similar examples in this region have been found to contain human skeletal remains.


Devil's Den is a dolmen consisting of two standing stones, a capstone and two fallen stones. The stones are the remains of what was the entrance to a long mound. This impressive Neolithic monument was constructed 3,000 years ago and it was partially restored in 1921, after plough damage. Legend has it that if water is poured into hollows on the capstone, a demon will come in the night and drink it.

© All rights reserved

Popular Posts

Devil's Quoits

Lanhill Long Barrow: A Window into Neolithic Britain

Coate Stone Circle