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

Kingston Russell

Stone Circle


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 treading 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.
Dave1982 Posted by Dave1982
16th March 2016ce
Edited 29th December 2016ce

Comments (3)

Dave ,
There’s a few problems with Kingston Russel as a candidate for “alignments “ .
All of the stones are fallen therefore e without knowing in which direction their position on a plan is speculative . It has been suggested that ome of the stones may have been introduced . As the circle is type B flattened in Thom parlance or simply irregular (Barnatt) , finding the centre is not easy and the problems noted above only make it worse and there is no centre stone . As with all stone circles finding a stone that will point to a Thom paradigm event from somewhere near the centre is not difficult , with numbers above 6 it is to be expected , with 18 you would hope to find more than one by chance, it helps that the components of the circles tend to be lumps that provide a wide target from not very far away (in this case about 12 metres ) ,that is why archaeoastronomers don’t consider alignments from the centre of a circle to a stone in the circumference as being too meaningful . What is required is some form of indication like an outlier which will be more accurate and also have salience .
tiompan Posted by tiompan
16th March 2016ce
Hi Tiompan, I see you're still very active on the sites and comments. It is always interesting to read your points. I agree with your comments, and I have not included this circle in my evidence. It is an interesting one though, and well worth a visit, if people can find it! As the previous fieldnoter was not able to find the site I included details on locating it. Dave1982 Posted by Dave1982
17th March 2016ce
Hi Dave , good to see you back . tiompan Posted by tiompan
17th March 2016ce
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