- R e m p s t o n e -
NB: m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n t o b e a d d e d
REMPSTONE HALL, the hub of the Rempstone Estate. Starting out as a 16th century
building, with additions, modifications and reburbishments into the late 20th century.
This is a private house and not open to the public. We can see the exterior as most delightful and this is
The extensions to the right/east however do rather detract from what the picture shows.
In terms of family occupation over three centuries, much has gone on and rather than set it down in
detail here, we would refer you to a most excellent book called
"THE CALCRAFTS OF REMPSTONE HALL"
written by Richard D Ryder with help from his family and friends, and published by HALSGROVE,
ISBN 1 84114 456 8, printed by The Cromwell Press
- R e m p s t o n e C i r c l e -
Hidden away under a canopy of mainly conifers The Rempstone Circle does beg the question,
who built it and when?
The circle, or the remains of it consists of ferruginous sandstone and 'may' have been
erected by Bronze Age 'Beaker Folk' who occupied England nearly 4,000 years ago.
They were responsible for the many barrows, one being the local Nine Barrow Down
(highlighted in PIC.1) just east of Ailwood Down (indicated on the map).
There has however, until the site is fully archeologically investigated, got to remain
an element of doubt about the true origin of the circle. It is very nice and convenient
to attribute it to the Beaker Folk and there is nothing specific to say it is not their
work, except some lateral thinking.
It seems reasonable to suppose the ultimate Circle in this country is Stonehenge, but the
full story behind that is still uncertain. It can conform to some very substantial
lines of alignment whereas Rempstone, since we are not acquainted with it's original
layout, can be made to fit a number of alignments, a point made by some who have
come, looked, and attempted some explanation.
At Stonehenge you can look in and out from all directions, not so the case at Rempstone.
The site that has been conifer plantation since the 1950s was once deciduous wood and
heath. There is still evidence of very old deciduous wood which would have made the
site somewhat tucked away which is even more the case nowadays, one has to say that
the age of the woods may be expressed in 100s of years if the Circle is about 4,000
years old it may have been in the open then.
If you are prepared to accept it was wooded 4,000 years ago, it would seem rather shortsighted
to utilise it as a sighting point. Add to that the fact it is tucked away in the lee of
Ailwood Down, and you have a sight seemingly of no major use for astronomical sighting's.
Even the very local high point is some 500 feet further east and 18 feet higher at 300 feet (and may be
a burial mound), and Ailwood Down some 700 feet distant at over 600 feet high.
The stone that is or once was a circle has probably not been brought there but been left
by geological upheaval. The stones are not of a size that would need hundreds of men to
move, far from it, a couple of dozen men could have put it together given time and patience.
Given the stones were already laying around, and a group of local yokels who fancied their
own Stonehenge, the circle could be much more recent, and with no particular alignment.
There are as many stones left in the circle as there are spread around, so it may have
been built from the nearest and the remainder left unmoved.
A bit of simple geometry on the plot of the existing stones suggests a full circle of 18 stones,
neglecting the present uneven spacing.
To a degree you may realise from the map that besides what is the remains of a circle, there
are also two visible groups of stones to the east (9) and south (3), neglecting possible
buried stones as yet undiscovered. We talk of geological upheaval, this has occurred
over many many thousands of years, and can produce many displaced deposits as local
gardeners will testify.
At the present time we have shown only the stones that are visible, there is evidence/suggestion
of others which would best be left undisturbed.
Very simplistically in geological terms the Isle of Purbeck that you see today is oldest to
the south and newest to the north. The Purbeck Hill(s) that run east-west are the edge
of a 500-1,000ish foot band of Upper Chalk with about 60 feet of Reading Beds followed
by 100 feet of London Clay, on which we find the Rempstone Circle. We say simplistically
because that formation described has much deposited on it, which might include the
components of the Rempston Circle. It must be stressed that distance/thickness
are very approximate.
Recent years have seen deposits of flowers, pots and coins left at the circle, the reason we
don't know, do the depositors? Many people visit pre-historical sites because they are there
and they just what to see out of interest, not necessarily because they know what they
are or may be. A few of us visit many times, to review, to ponder, to find what we have
missed before but with little or no hope of a specific answer to the whys and wherefores.
The Rempstone Circle is certainly something to wonder about, but will we ever resolve it?.
It needs a full and careful dig, preferably without the attendance of Time Team.
The desire to undertake that has had the edge taken off it courtesy of a local farmer removing
an avenue of these stones from his fields, details of which we do not have.
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