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Stanton Drew – new Great Circle entrance found

New evidence of archaeological features in and around the three prehistoric stone circles at Stanton Drew has been revealed.

The results of a geophysical survey carried out by Bath and Camerton Archaeological Society (BACAS) in collaboration with Bath & North East Somerset Council's Archaeological Officer in summer 2010 have just been published.

.The 2010 survey was led by John Oswin and John Richards of BACAS and shows evidence of below-ground archaeological features, including a second entrance into the henge monument first identified by English Heritage in 1997. The second entrance is south-west facing and forms a narrow causeway, defined by two large terminal ends of the circular ditch. Further work at the South-West Circle suggests that it sits on a deliberately levelled platform.

Stone circles like Stanton Drew's are known to date broadly to the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age (about 3000-2000 BC). In 2009 the BACAS team produced computer plots showing what appears to be the outline of an earlier Neolithic burial mound or 'long barrow' immediately to the north of the Cove – a group of three large stones in the beer garden of the Druid's Arms. The completion of a resistance survey at the Cove has now reinforced its interpretation as a long barrow, which would date to nearly 1000 years before the stone circles. The length, width and orientation are consistent with this type of monument, including indications of flanking ditches.

"The geophysical survey work at Stanton Drew continues to throw new light on these nationally important monuments" said Bath & North East Somerset Council's Archaeological Officer, Richard Sermon. "It tells us that what we see above ground today is only part of a complex that would have rivalled those at Avebury and Stonehenge."

You can find the survey results at:
moss Posted by moss
14th October 2011ce
Edited 19th July 2015ce

Comments (2)

This is important archaeological news isn't it, many thanks for posting it Moss. I note too you posted something back in February 2010 about the the geophys work done on the Cove stones:

Reinforcing the tradition of erecting stone circles near to an older (by 1000 years) place of burial. Then along come the Saxon churches and we have continuity over several thousand years. Now the stone circles and ancient burial sites have replaced the churches again - a full circle.
tjj Posted by tjj
14th October 2011ce
Really interesting read. Page 72 with its comparative pictures of the lugbury false portal and the cove is especially illuminating. juamei Posted by juamei
17th October 2011ce
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