The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Bathampton and Claverton Downs

Standing Stones


I have this on good authority: References to a stone circle on Bathampton Down are apparently vague because one never existed. The many stones lying round the fields here occur completely naturally. The holes in them are also natural, caused by imperfections (e.g. corals) in the oolite wearing away with water drainage after glacial transportation. The "standing stones" shown here were erected in the 1700s as demarcations of the extremities of a two-mile horse racecourse of the time. The stones shown in photos on this site are on Claverton Down (Bushy Norwood etc.), not Bathampton Down. There are more reliable ancient reports of a stone avenue on the northern edge of Bathampton Down (half a mile or so from the stones shown here) but this was seemingly cleared without trace long ago. There are many bronze age, iron age and Roman remains around this plateau, but many have been obliterated. Some of the largest are not shown on current maps, but will have been significant in size. Barrows and roundhouses have been identified and part excavated. I also learned that some of the information on OS maps is quite inaccurate. Posted by PhilRogers
7th June 2004ce
Edited 7th June 2004ce

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