Sherbourne Stone Circle

 

Approximate location from memory of the buried recumbent stone to left of black bin bag

This circle was mentioned in ‘The History and Antiquities of Surrey’ by Manning and Bray, 1809 volume 2 page 123 as follows ‘In the field are five stones, three together, the other two a small distance apart. Largest of the three is 10 foot long, 5’8″ wide and four foot four inches out of the ground. One in the next field is 10’10” by 4’9″ and flat to the ground. Also in Weston Wood’.  And elsewhere, ‘There do indeed appear to have been stones in the field south of the road opposite the entrance to the Silent Pool but they have been destroyed by successive farmers and various pieces are scattered in the area’.

The fields in question belong to the Duke of Northumberland’s Albury Estate and lie between the large landfill site on the west side and Sherbourne Lane, the main road into Albury, on the east side, with the A25 road from Guildford to Dorking on the north side. They can be seen on Google Earth at 51’13’29″N 0’29’09″W.  Until a few years ago these fields were open pasture but heavy tree planting has taken place to screen the landfill from view, and this activity may well have destroyed any evidence of the circle.  In these fields was held the Sherborne Palm Sunday fair, which may have pagan origin, until 1811 when it was banned by the Rector William Polhill. Just across the A25 is the Silent Pool, steeped in legend and reputed to be bottomless although in the drought of 1976 the bottom was revealed.

 

Many years ago, whilst working in my capacity as monitoring surveyor of the adjoining landfill site, I came across a large recumbent rectangular stone lying right on the edge of the landfill workings at the western end of the aforementioned field.  Unfortunately I neglected to measure it or record the exact location.  A topsoil stock stood to the west side and I believe this has eroded and covered the stone.

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