The Shearers, The Street, Hownam.
The Shearers can be found some 80m south east of Hownam Rings
and comprises line of 28 stones extends from west to east across
the plateau for a distance of over 100m. Eleven of the stones
are only exposed at turf level but the other seventeen are
upright blocks, roughly squared off and varying in height from
0.15 to 0.75m. These stones are most likely to be the grounders
of an ancient field dyke, probably erected at some time during
the occupation of Hownam Rings.
From the village of Hownam, walk to the south end of the village
and before crossing the bridge, follow a track heading uphill and
to the right. Continue on this track past Horseshoe Wood, past the
standing stone to the right. Cross the stone dyke at the gate and
head for Hownam Rings. The Shearers are quite noticeable on route.
In street in Hownam village.
One story relates the tale of eleven local shearers who, in defiance of the church who forbid working
on the Holy Sabbath, carried out their trade of sheep
shearing and were turned to stone as a result. The stones
may also be known locally as the Shearers and the Bandster.
However, this name has also been associated with Five Stanes
Stone Circle, some 4 miles away as the crow flies.
The close proximity of The Shearers to the fort and settlement
of Hownam Rings, does suggest some form of connection and the
idea that the stones were the grounders for an ancient field
dyke is plausible. Other fragmentary earthworks in the vicinity
also add weight to the theory. However, to my mind The Shearers
seem to stand separately and isolated from these other
earthworks and run near to east - west, possibly suggesting some
connection with the rise and set of the sun, although this is by
no means a certainty. The 1863 Edition of the 1" Ordnance
Survey map records the site as "Eleven Shearers, Druidical