The Winter Solstice and Dartmoor

Solstice is the time when the sun is at the greatest distance from the celestial equator – during the summer soltice the sun reaches its northern most point (around the 21st June) and the winter soltice is when the sun reaches its southern most point (22nd December).

The word is derived from the Latin – sol = sun and sistere = to make stand (i.e. the sun stops ‘moving’ north or south).

So today is the shortest day and the longest night – after this we head towards spring!

When we get to the solstice, either the summer or the winter one, we tend to see pictures of people at Stonehenge. We shouldn’t forget though that Dartmoor has a rich Bronze Age landscape and it is likely that many of the features there are connected to the solstice as well.

Grey wethers
Grey Wethers – double stone circle near Fernworthy Forest

Merrivale1The Merrivale Stone Row next to the road between Princetown and Tavistock



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