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

Falkner's Circle

Stone Circle


How strange that a stone circle only 500 metres from the great henge at Avebury should be so unnoticed.

Every day dozens of people walk down the West Kennett Avenue, unaware that this circle was ever here, let alone that a stone still stands.

The OS map marks it as 'Stone Circle (rems of)', with a single black dot to indicate the remaining stone.

If you come down the Avenue from Avebury, look across the road to your left. About 200 metres along the tree line in the field you'll see the stone. If you go to the end of the stones (as they stand today), cross over and follow the hedge/fence.

At a bend in the tree line there's a gap in the hedge for access between the fields. This access runs right through the site of Falkner's Circle. A small wooden sign is nailed to the fence post to mark the spot, and several large sarsens lie around. The one remaining stone is wider than it is tall, being about 6 feet by 4 feet. Sadly, it lies just on the north side of the field boundary, i.e. just outside the National Trust owned land, and so vulnerable to farming mistreatment.

And what a strange spot. Right on the valley floor, the squat stone suits the snug location.

But what was this place? Some two hundred metres off-route for the Avenue to Avebury lacking the commanding and/or central feeling that is so common in other stone circles.

In 'The Avebury Cycle', Michael Dames suggests that it is perhaps to do with the midsummer sunrise. The sunrise would come over the eastern horizon (directly between two Bronze Age barrows), and a line could come through this circle, the stone in the Avenue known as 35N (uniquely not set flat-side inwards, but at a right angle to the others with a pointing edge to the east), across Waden Hill and to the summit of Silbury.

To me, this place is another discovery that makes me believe I really will never be fully familiar with all the monuments and features of the Avebury landscape, let alone divine their purpose.

(visited 4 April 02)
Posted by Merrick
12th April 2002ce

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