The Bull Ring

The Bull Ring, is a large henge situated just north of Buxton in a village called Dove Holes. Dove Holes is a dump - few would disagree, it is such an incongruous setting for this fine henge, which is well preserved, unlike the stones which are all now removed without trace. To get to the site journey north out of Buxton on the A6 towards Manchester. The A road runs through the middle of Dove Holes (the residents have been campaigning for a by-pass road for a long time) on the right near the southern end of the village is a track that leads to a childrens playground, take that and park at the end. The henge is on the other side of a playing field, with a track leading to it, map reference SK 07847823. It is surrounded by a quarry, a cemetary, the backs of the houses on the A6 and the playing field.

The Bull Ring Henge

The association of churches and prehistoric sites is seen across the country, arising from the attempt of dark ages christianity to "sanctify" the "pagan" places. The cemetry is the nearest neighbour of the henge monument. I do not know the origins of the church's location in Dove Holes but it is possible this is another example of that practice.

The henge itself has a number of features; entrances to the north and south, and a small platform dug into the inner face of the bank to the NW. Quarrying started churning up the ditch and bank to the NE in the 1800s, but was stopped before any more harm was done. The bank is on average a metre high, and although it is now about 10 metres wide is was originally narrower, and has sagged over the years (cue more abuse of Dove Holes). The ditch is also about a metre deep, and the enclosed area is a sizeable 53 by 46 metres across. A report from 1789 records a single standing stone in the henge (leaving it looking like the Mayburgh Henge in the Lake District, but today even that has gone. The site was once cultivated with a stone wall running across its centre, if that wall had used the stones in its construction, and if the stones were fitted as shallowly into the soil as those at Arbor Low, there is no reason we should be able to detect their traces today.

As at Arbor Low (the otehr big henge in Derbyshire) a short distance away from the circle is a large burial mound. In thi scase the shape of the mound is unclear as it has been ploughed on three sides. There are no records of this barrow being excavated. This site is probably the most prone to damage in Derbyshire, due to its location and the use of land around it, and the apparent disregard it is paid. Someone out there should fence it off charge 20 pence for admission and save the site from further vandalism.


e-mail me with any information about the Bull Ring, do not bother trying to convince me of the positive attributes of Dove Holes however.

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