Speed Reads


Amateur archaeologist discovers mysterious stone circle in southern England

There are a number of remarkable things about this newly discovered, 4,000-year-old stone circle in Dartmoor, England — but the most amazing thing is probably that it hadn't already been found.

It's certainly not small. Made up of 30 stones arrayed in a circle, it measures over 112 feet across. Researchers believe it is the highest structure of its kind in southern England.

It also isn't the only one in the area. Archaeologists think it was part of a "sacred arc" of stone circles that skirted the edge of the moor. They've found 12 others in the area.

And that's the thing — a stone circle like this hasn't been discovered in this part of England in over 100 years. Stonehenge is, obviously, the most famous of Britain's ancient pagan structures, but there are over 1,000 stone circles in the U.K. alone. Victorians, fascinated by Britain's pagan past, hunted most of them down. This gives researchers a unique opportunity to use "the very latest archaeological scientific methods to provide long-awaited insights" into the pagan structures, a senior archaeologist at Dartmoor told The Guardian.

So how did this one go undiscovered for so long? An amateur archaeologist named Alan Endacott reportedly first stumbled across the stones in 2007 after a controlled burn on the moor revealed them. So, credit beginner's luck and the twists of fate.