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

The Great Circle, North East Circle & Avenues

Stone Circle


The following information is taken from Jodie Lewis - Monuments... The Neolithic of Northern Somerset..
3 circles, 2 avenues, a cove and a henge, with of course the geo-phys'd timber circles. Great stone circle has a dia; of 112.2.m and has 26 stones, the great avenue is 49 m long and 10.4.m wide. It could well be that the timber, stone and earth phases are contemporary, with the inner sacred centre of timbers (either in situ/or rotted) being the focus round which the stone circle and the henge (for viewing) were viewed. The open/closed nature of the central timber structure could be augmented with hurdles/planks for hiding rituals. But of course timber and stone periods might be different, the stone circle just acknowledging the sanctity of the older timber circles
North-east circle is 44 m to the n/e and has 8 very large stones, the largest in the complex, diameter of the circle is 29.6.m. One of the things to be noticed about these stones, no female/male typology, just large square blocks of stone. Leading from this circle is the n/e avenue with 7 stones. Apparently in the centre of this circle were 4 anomalies (maybe pits) sharing an alignment as the four pairs of stones that are the circle, but these circles had orchards around them so therefore tree remains cannot be ruled out.
The South west circle is recorded in 1881 as having some of its stones removed for the fencing round an orchard, so presumably stones have been moved around. It lies 137,2 m s/w of the great circle, has a dia. of 44.2m and is comprised of 12 stones, and Jodie Lewis goes on to say stones have almost certainly been moved around. Again geophysics noted 3 concentric rings of pits within this circle, so again presumably another timber circle within the bounds of a stone circle.
Note; this is written down, not just for anyone reading it but for those two young men sheltering from the cold wind behind a stone (one playing some pan pipes) when I was there last autumn and when they asked for an explanation - did my best at the time but did'nt have the book... map plan in the Underhill Archives showing the Avenue

As a note; Stanton Drew circles do not seem to relate to any outstanding landscape feature, such as Maes Knoll, but are focussed towards the river Chew, Jodie Lewis makes the point that at certain times of the year, due to flooding, the river turns red from the clay and soil leaching into the river., this would give it a significance as a meeting place (there is lithic scatter found near the site). This river also joins the River Avon further down at Keynsham were ammonites are found, such as the one at Stoney Littleton.

Part of the henge can still be seen in the foreground of Morfe's photo;
moss Posted by moss
25th January 2007ce
Edited 25th January 2007ce

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