Considered by some to be Britain’s largest prehistoric complex yet far less visited than Stonehenge or Avebury, Stanton Drew contains three stone circles (including the second largest in England), two stone avenues, a cove and a massive outlier. Recent geophysical research has revealed that the Great Circle is itself surrounded by a very large ditch 440 ft in diameter and contains a highly elaborate pattern of buried pits that once held massive posts arranged in nine concentric rings.

 

Remains of Avenue leading up to the Circle

Remains of Avenue leading up to the Circle

 

Professor Burl has written of the site:

Midsummer processions and ceremonies may be imagined, rituals by moonlight celebrated by hundreds of people from the countryside, assembling for reasons long forgotten but preserved silently in the stones themselves….

 

On the evening of May 6 there is a rare opportunity to visit the site and to explore it in the company of a local historian, Colin Budge.