Stanton Drew Stone Circles
...a complex and baffling arrangement of stones.
What will you make of the stone arrangements at Stanton Drew? Three circles, two avenues and a cove give rise to many theories about their intended use. Wander through them, read about them and make your own mind up, but most of all imagine the people that built them and the lives that they may have led.
Like all stone circles there is a lot of mystery surrounding the purpose and alignment of the stones and Stanton Drew is no exception.
The Main or Great Circle believed to have consisted of 30 stones of which 27 remain, 113 metres in diameter with an avenue extending from the north east towards the River Chew. The only circle larger in England is that at Avebury. The avenue passes the north east circle, a smaller more elliptical shape, containing 8 stones of which 4 are still standing. This too has an avenue leading of it which joins the main avenue and together they would have continued to the River Chew. Across the river is the fallen Sarsen block called Hautvilles Quoit, which is believed to have been about 4 metres when originally standing in place.
In a separate field there is the south west circle containing 11 of the possible 12 original stones.
Excavations around the stones in the 17th century after one of them fell, revealed human remains and an object described as a ‘round bell, like a large horse bell’. A bronze serpent ring has also been found and this gives some caution to assigning a date to the burial.
On the other side of the village is the mysterious cove consisting of 2 standing stones and a 3rd fallen slab lying between them. The stones are of different heights from 1.4 meters to 4.4 metres and they are of differing mineral content to the circle stones.
Geophysical work has shown a surrounding ditch and nine concentric rings of postholes within the circle. With over 400 pits and a 40 metre wide entrance to the north east it is now thought to be one of the biggest and most impressive Neolithic monuments to have been built.
Looking at the circles and the cove there appear to be two different alignments, one through the centres of the south west and Great circles and onto Hautvilles Quoit and the other through the cove and the north eats and Great circles.
Astronomical alignments and ley lines are standard theories of stone circles but others exist. Come and wander and see what your imagination can conjure up. Why not pop into the Druids Arms Inn whilst you contemplate your theories.
Outside the village of Stanton Drew, Somerset.
Other attractions in the area:
Avon Valley and Railway
Dolebury Warren Hillfort
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015