It was with sadness that I read of the damage once more sustained by Doll Tor in the last few days. The circle is a beautiful and secluded spot, hidden in a little wood and just far enough off the beaten track to ensure that its atmosphere of magic and mystery remains unbroken. Until the vandals come to play.

Doll Tor is not just a stone circle, it is a small ritual complex and part of a wider ritual landscape. It was built thousands of years ago in the Bronze Age… or perhaps even in the late Neolithic period. It is also a grave site, where those who were laid to rest within its care were sent onwards with dignity, reverence and gifts.

Many still visit and use the site with care and respect. We have explored its energies and effects in our own work and workshops… it is a remarkable and beautiful place. In modern terms, it equates to a place of worship, a small cemetery and a place of communion and celebration all at the same time.

And, in spite of it being a protected and scheduled ancient monument, some disrespectful idiots seem to think that, it is okay to move the smaller stones to build a fire pit in the circle’s centre and move one of the larger stones to make a seat. I have to wonder how they would feel if someone desecrated the grave of their grandmother… for that is, in effect, what they are doing when they vandalise these ancient places where our ancestors interred their dead.

Doll Tor has suffered at the hands of the uninformed before, but much work had been done to restore the site, as closely as possible after the depredations of millennia, to how it would have looked in the Bronze Age. This is important for the integrity of the site, as these places were constructed with care, aligning stones with other sites of importance within the landscape and with astronomical alignments too. Moving the stones out of alignment is like taking the cogs out of a clock and still expecting it to work.

This is, sadly, not a one-off occurrence. In spite of such damage being a criminal offence, many ancient places suffer from ignorance, lack of care and straightforward vandalism. Very many of our ancient places were damaged when Christianity took over, their stones cast down or used for building. One might have thought that we would know better now than to vandalise our own heritage and history.

In this country, we are fortunate indeed to have so many ancient places that we can still visit, freely and openly. There are few things more magical than to sit within one of these ancestral sites, surrounded by a silence broken only by birdsong and the whispers of the past. Whether we view them as sacred sites or simply as enigmatic relics of our distant history, they are places to be treasured.

To read more of Doll Tor’s history, our experiences at the site and the link between the land and its people, click the highlighted links. You can also read about Helen Jones’ experience at the site during one of our Living Land weekends.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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45 Responses to Vandalism…

  1. Helen Jones says:

    Oh Sue, that is just AWFUL. Doll Tor was one of my favourite places we visited together, not just because of what we experienced. It is a place of power, still. I cannot believe the ignorance we’re seeing from people across the country, leaving rubbish and damage and desecration in their wake. Why has this pandemic bought out the worst in people? I cannot understand it. I hope Doll Tor can be repaired.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. We don’t have stone circles, but we have a lot of (I assume) teenagers who think it’s fun to go into our 400-year-old cemetery and knock over and break the stones. I don’t get it. I would hate to think it was an adult. It’s ugly.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It saddens me to see Sue, to see this, I feel that while the current situation has shown the good in most people there is a % of people who are just doing what they want. Many nature reserves around us have been trashed by a few. Many BBQ’s in New Forest getting out of control. Monday one of the fields where I had watched deer the week before had been used for a party side and bike track – rubbish dump – damage to gates and fences – fire damage. The overwhelming feeling I was left with was the feeling of one of my special places being violated. 😥

    Liked by 2 people

  4. jenanita01 says:

    I will never understand the mentality of the people who do these things… so very sad…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. beth says:

    that is awful

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mary Smith says:

    It’s terrible. Groups of people came to camp beside one of our lochs last weekend leaving behind dozens of bags of rubbish for others to clear away. They seem to have a sense of entitlement that allows them to do what they want – though why they would want to destroy a beautiful piece of countryside or desecrate and ancient burial site, I don’t know.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. V.M.Sang says:

    It makes me sad, angry and feeling helpless all at the same time. I would love to know how the minds of these people work.
    Around here, in the south east of England, the sides of the A27 look like a rubbish dump. And the A22, as well. We volunteered to help keep a local small park in reasonable order when it appeared it was supposed to be a community project. After getting rid of much of the weeds etc, we bought some plants and bulbs. Aided by some neighbours, we planted and tidied.
    We planted a cherry tree and an ornamental tree. They were broken off at the base along with an apple tree already there. Nearly a dozen rose plants we planted were stolen including ine that was planted in memory of a neighbour, and many annuals, too. Each spring, the heads of many of the daffodils and tulips are ripped off and thrown down, and all the heads of some wonderfolly scented irises, last year.
    We’ve now told the council we’re stopping doing it because of the vandalism and theft. So no one else has stepped into the breach and it’s going back to its unkempt state.
    The sad thing is, that the thefts were all by neighbours as it’s a local park only used by local people. They were taken shortly after planting and only people who walk through the park could know there were new plants there.


  8. Sadly, Sue, this is symptomatic of a selfish and self-centred attitude that seems to prevail. From the now laughable toilet roll shortages to the casual littering of public places that have allegedly been yearned for, there is too much focus on the now, and no consideration for the long-term impact. What these idiots don’t get is that they too will suffer if the continue in this way. The beauty spots will no longer be beautiful, and they might even struggle to find quilted dock leaves when they have to go out foraging for basic supplies… As for any sense of spiritual peace, I don’t think they’d know it if it hit them in the face so, no, they’re not going to be remotely bothered about an ancient site like Doll Tor.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Helen Jones says:

    Reblogged this on Helen Jones and commented:
    I visited Doll Tor with Sue just last year, and it’s one of my favourite places I’ve been with her. Just a magical spot, now desecrated because of thoughtless vandals. I cannot understand the behaviour of people in this country at the moment, visiting our beautiful places and leaving rubbish and destruction behind…

    Liked by 2 people

  10. willowdot21 says:

    It’s so wrong , I wonder at the ignorance of those who committ these acts.💜


  11. So sad, Sue. I wonder how often it’s mean-spirited and how often it’s just ignorance. Is the history and heritage of these places taught in school? Or through field trips? Or would that just open them up to more destruction? It looks like a beautiful spot and the spirit of these places must feel sacred when you’re there and paying attention.


  12. Sacrilege Sue, nothing less.


  13. noelleg44 says:

    How ineffably sad, Sue. A pox on those that did it!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Horrible and sad. 😦


  15. memadtwo says:

    Lack of respect seems to be rampant in the world. Starting at the top. (K)


  16. Widdershins says:

    It’s a lack of respect, that starts with themselves.


  17. Oh no. Devastating! A place I’ve always wanted to visit… 😦


  18. Patty says:

    Reblogged this on Campbells World and commented:
    I must wonder if these who destroy such places as this realize the possible danger they place themselves in.
    Not only is it disrespectful but it is also taking things out of alignment that are best left alone.
    What was once safe and secure, and filled with love, could if placed out of alignment turn into a danger.
    May this place be restored and protected.


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