12th August 1785

Dolmen discovered on Le Mont de la Ville

The dolmen below Le Mont de la Ville would have lain undiscovered had the area not been cleared for the construction of a parade ground. A plaque depicting it and commemorating its discovery was erected close to the site, now home to Fort Regent, in 1985.

Dolmen are common across the Channel Islands. They are Neolithic constructions erected (or dug) between around 5000BC and 2200BC, many of which incorporate burial chambers for important tribal leaders. The dolmen at Le Mont de la Ville was a stone circle built of local granite in around 3000BC.

Far from home

Although it’s still possible to visit the stones, you’ll have to travel from Jersey to Henley-on-Thames to do so and be invited to visit the private estate where they’re now sited. Upon its discovery, the dolmen was presented to the governor, field-marshal Henry Seymour Conway, who had it dug up in 1788, transported to his Oxfordshire estate, Templecombe House, and reconstructed there. Although there have been requests to return it to the island, it remains on the mainland and is now a listed monument.

Templecombe House and estate was put on the market for £7m in 2017, and sold the following September, complete with its dolmen, for £6,500,000. The property details, written by Savills, remarked that, “originally forming part of what we believe to be a listed parkland setting, the Druids Altar is a collection of ancient stones that is Grade II Listed.”


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