Stanton Drew, located at 51.366997, -2.578645
For us this was not an easy place to find and we would recommend using a Sat Nav. The latitude and longitude given above will take you directly to the car park allocated for the circle. The narrow country lanes access make this a tricky place to drive to. Some of the roads marked as main A roads on the map were little more than country lanes and quite inadequate for the volume, speed, and size of today's traffic.
The stone structure is of large rough stones irregularly positioned and standing in flattish farm land. It is a very peaceful spot though, and an inner city dweller (Bristol?) may find it very relaxing and effecting. The size of the rings and the stones are impressive (photo 5 and 6) and the rustic local village and pub, which contains the Cove, is well worth a stroll round.
From a more technical point of view there are interesting alignments to the sunrises via the causeways, and the numbers of stones in the two main circles which provide some indication for a sunrise weather/season forecaster.
The circles have Eastern causeways which, from their irregular positioning of their stones, appear to have been disrupted. The stones of the causeways seem to have been in pairs.
They point towards the sunrises of 15 August - the end of summer, and the 1 Oct - the end of Autumn - as can be seen in Diagram 1. These would be important dates for a rural community.
The circles appear to have been disrupted with displacements having taken place along the circumference rather than the radius. However it can be seen that the Great Circle does not fit a circle too well; it fits two arcs, one East, one West, far better - as can be seen in Diagram 1 which shows a Plan diagram of the Great Circle and North East Circle and their sunrise orientation. This arrangement can be seen in other structures such as Blakeley Raise, England, and Loupin' Stanes, Scotland. The centres of the circles and The Cove align with the midsummer sunrise, as can be seen in Diagram 1.
It is interesting to note that the smaller North-East circle appears to have 9 stones - which could give alignments for midsummer, spring/autumn, and midwinter if the stones were suitably placed, as for Nine Ladies in Stanton Moor, Derbyshire, England, and others circles - as can be seen in Diagram 2.
Apparently there are 27 stones present in the Great Circle (source Wikipedia). The stones seem intact although very weathered, and do not seem to have been broken up and left in pieces - although they differ in height - so the original number may have been 27. This, if the stones were placed equidistant from one another in circular shape and one aligned from a central observation point towards the midsummer sunrise, would provide alignments, like Stonehenge, for a 12 season annual cycle - as can be seen in Diagram 3. The Great Circle is so large that the centre would have to be marked in some way. The differing heights would be useful to indicate required alignments, such as midsummer.
Some of the stones in the North East circle - numbers 3 and 4 (photos 1 to 3) and The Cove (photo 4) appear to have been pushed over to lie flat, rather than sunken over with time to lie at an angle. The break lines of the stones are regular with the pieces not being displaced, indicating deliberate breakage after the stone were flat, perhaps using iron wedges and heavy hammers. Two damaged stones (3 and 4) lie together, indicating their displacement on the circle. It is recorded that the Romans destroyed the Druids and their sacred groves, and as it is highly likely that the Druids knew of and used the stone circles, it could be thought that Stanton Drew was disrupted and damaged by the Romans, perhaps to be partially restored by the British once they had left.
Please refer to the diagrams and photos.
For fuller information on sunrises weather/season forecasters please see:
Posted by Dave1982
2nd January 2017ce
Edited 8th January 2017ce