Duloe Stone Circle, Cornwall


Large and small stones
Small stone circle, 35 feet in diameter, consisting of eight quartzite stones, dating from the Bronze Age, between 2000 and 1000 BC
Parish of Duloe
South side of Duloe, off the B3254; PL14 4PN
The smallest of around 16 stone circles in Cornwall is situated on the south side of the tiny village of Duloe, 4 miles north of Looe - the Duloe Stone Circle, a Bronze Age structure built sometime between 2000 and 1000 BC, is around 35 feet in diameter, and contains eight stones. The circle is situated in a anonymous field on the east side of the main road through the village, the B3254, reached by a signed, 500 foot path.

While the circle is itself is small, the stones are large, the biggest about 9 feet tall above ground and weighing over 12 tons, so the monument would have required considerable effort to construct. The site was only recognised as a circle early in the 19th century since the stones were bisected by a hedge before that, and some were buried; removal of the hedge was accompanied by repositioning of some of the stones, so their exact former placement is uncertain. The circle is thought originally to have surrounded a burial mound, though the interior is now flat; a funereal urn containing human bones was discovered beneath one of the stones in 1860, dating from a slightly later period.

The Circle

The stones of the circle are mostly composed of quartzite, pale grey/white in colour, unlike most other circles in the county which use granite blocks. They are placed in an alternating large-small arrangement. One stone has fallen, and this and another were partially broken during the 19th century repositioning. The place is marked on older maps as 'Druidical Circle', reflecting earlier beliefs that such constructions were associated with the druid religion, a now largely discredited theory. The stones were probably excavated from an outcrop at Herodsfoot, 2 miles north, subsequently (early 1700s) the site of a lead mine.