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Kingston Russell (Stone Circle) — Images (click to view fullsize)

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Kingston Russell (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

Latitude and longitude 50.688769 -2.598972

Dated - late Neolithic (English Heritage)
Horizon view - distant low hills
Horizon orientation - none noted
Structure orientation - midsummer, spring/autumn noted

In order to access the site we parked at the turn-off from Bishop's Road towards Gorwell Farm (50.678776 -2.583842) The farmer paid a considerable sum of money to have his access track asphalted so do not cross the cattle grid ! : ) A bridle path, accessed via the track to the right, through a wooden gate immediately to the left, runs along side four fields and leads directly to the stone ring. It is quite a long rough walk so plastic calf boots are advised, winter and summer as the field containing the ring may be heavily sown with cow pats, some of which are hidden under clumps of grass! A couple of these were discovered by treating in them! Urrgh. We took along a couple of folding picnic chairs so we could stop, rest, and admire the country side.

Once there the scenery alone makes the trek worth while, and what we found was an irregular circular shape with midsummer, spring/autumn sunrise orientation noted. Appears to have been ruined, with no reconstruction as some stones have sunk into the ground, although the ground here is rocky with considerable broken flints, and provides a firm base. There is a faint mark of a ditch on one side of the circle (South) but no bank, so this may be the result of regular ploughing with the furrow turned away from the stones. The size of the structure indicates a small Neolithic population of a few hundred.

Agricultural weather/season indicator -
The stones are roughly comparable in size and do not appear to have been broken up, so the original number may have been as today - 18. If 18 stones are placed equidistance from one another in a circle then the angular distance between each is 20 degrees. This could align with the sunrises as shown in the diagrams.
Thus this site has the potential to be aligned to the sunrises if arranged in a symmetrical circle. However it's irregular placements of the stones makes it appear that it has been wrecked long long ago. If the stones were placed regularly and positioned from the midsummer sunrise then the alignment would be as in the diagram below of a hypothetical original structure. Please see diagrams in the diagram section.

Sacred site -
An interesting feature is an unusually shaped stone (stone 13 in the diagrams) that appears to have been roughly carved, although it is now considerably weathered. There appears to be a head and a bosom with a cleavage, and baby bump, with the back curved as per a human woman. Four stones in a line (9 to 12) of diminishing size give a distinct impression of a stone family. A further stone (14) next to the shaped stone 13 is blunt with 'masculine features'. We can be no more specific on this family site! : ) Thus this would seem to be a sacred structure, perhaps built as a development of an original one. Please see photos.
A Sage of the Stones.

Now retired and free - that's me !!!

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