Come off the A1 at the B6267 junction heading for Masham. Before going to the henges I recommend a quick diversion:
After about 1/2 mile, take the next right to Kirklington, after about 1/2 mile you will enter the village, turn left and park up to visit the church.
Inside the church, to the right of the door are a number of prehistoris remains held in a cabinet, including Bronze Age pot fragments and an Iron Age bead.
Take time to view the heads in the church, in particular have a look at the "Ogmios" head, and the "fish lady".
Once you have visted the church, back in the car and carry on out of the village (church on your right) for 1/2 mile to the juntion. Here, turn right and travel for about 1 mile till you get to Nosterfield. Turn left into the village and park up.
To get to the henges, continue walking in the direction of travel (south) out of the village until you come to a wooded area on the left. this is the first and best preserved henge. There are no access rights to any of the henges but I hear some terrible folks just walk in and look around!
Once you've seen the northern hange continue south down a track which runs alongside the central henge on the left. you will also see the landfill site (owned by North Yorkshire County Council) on your right, and lots of evidence of quarrying all round.
At the end of the track turn left to head towards the henge. Again I could not comment on the use of the gate to gain access to the henge. Notice that the some of the stones in the intrior of the henge wal are half covered with "gypsom plaster". I have a theory that the henge walls were plastered white.
From the central henge you could carry on down to the southern henge, through the gate on the other side of the road. My favorite henge is the southern one. Although it is the most destroyed, it is also the mose tranquil.
Before going home, I'd also recommend a visit to another site.
If you read the http://friendsofthornborough.org website you will notice that we keep banging on about post hole alignments.
One the the alignments heads from the northern henge to St Michaels Well, at Well. If you rejoin the main road (in the car) and turn left, than take the next right, you will get to Well. Once you have negotiated the steep bank at Well, take the next right and park up at the Church. The church has many relics of interest. Including some find "celtic heads" and other carvings on the outside of the church. Look hard to find the horned god, fish woman and naked man shaking hands with a giant. The cross was probably from a Devils Arrows type megalith originally.
What you have seen during this visit are clues to the significance of the area of Thornborough and it's northern perimeter. The henges, whilst being of fundamental importance are only a part of this ritual landscape. The "god figures" held in the local churches, the significance of St Michaels Well help create a wider ritual landscape that shows a "deformed continuity" of ancient beliefs.
Posted by BrigantesNation
13th June 2003ce