|Stanton Drew - The Great Circle, North East Circle & Avenues - 30.12.2003
I finally got back to Stanton Drew ten years after my aborted first try - see notes below. Where did those ten years go?
I think the access may have already changed from Moth's recent notes. The gate at the honesty box is a small normal gate (swing gate). But 30 metres onwards I then had to negotiate two narrow kissing gates in close proximity before I got in the field. The field was pretty lumpy and full of cow shit, but was pretty firm under foot, even in December.
The two accessible circles are amazing. This complex (adding in The Cove, the South West circle, and Hautville's Quoit) should be mentioned in the same breath as Avebury and Stonehenge, but rarely is, probably because, 1) the two circles and their avenues weren't open for much of the 1990's, Hautville's Quoit is a pitiful sight (on farm land), and the South West Circle has been on private land for as long as I can remember, 2) the lack of tea shop, guide book, huge car park, signposting, etc, and 3) the alleged initial reaction from a distance; that it's just a lot of jumbled stones.
But Stanton Drew rocks - big time. Easy to get to (I think), easy to access now, enormous stones, amazing history. This is stunning. Everyone should visit (not all at once please! The car park probably holds about 4 cars, and the other car park at The Cove isn't huge). The North East Circle is the greatest stone circle I've seen so far on my travels.
It's a disgrace that there wasn't more uproar when the two main circles were closed; it's almost as though this complex doesn't want the attention it deserves. I am so happy that we can now all go to these two circles, virtually anytime we like (well....9am to sunset the sign says, any day except Christmas Day).
Propaganda and access has stopped this becoming seen as circles / complex that are truly 'great'. This is NOT a jumbled mess of stones. Anyone with half a brain will be able to immediately see that there is a large circle (mainly fallen), and then a smaller circle (mainly intact and with enormous stones almost on a par with Avebury). The other stones (the avenues) need a bit of thought but to suggest this is a jumble of stones is a ludicrous assault on human intelligence.
I had this amazing place to myself. No sounds at all except planes droning towards Lulsgate (Bristol Airport) and some birds. Please visit.
Posted by pure joy
4th January 2004ce