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If ever the folly of building a mile of destructive new roads across the Stonehenge World Heritage landscape needed stressing to the world (see yesterday’s article) then this is it. There is still so much to learn at Stonehenge, and destroying huge amounts of precious evidence by driving a mile of new dual carriageways across the Stonehenge World Heritage Site is unconscionable.


It has long been known the bluestones were transported from ancient quarries near Preseli and erected on Salisbury Plain. But why? Most stone circles come from nearby quarries, so why were the bluestones transported 175 miles? Now a reason may have been discovered. It wasn’t just the stones that were brought, but a whole pre-existing stone circle!

It seems there was a 500-year gap between the blue stones being quarried and being erected at Stonehenge and in 2015 Professor Mike Parker Pearson suggested that it was “likely that the stones were first used in a local monument, somewhere near the quarries, that was then dismantled and dragged off to Wiltshire.” Now it has been revealed that a stone circle named Waun Mawn, discovered during filming for a BBC programme, has remarkable similarities to the original bluestone circle at Stonehenge and it is suggested that ancient people of the Preseli region migrated 175 miles taking their monuments with them, as a sign of their ancestral identity!

Only four monoliths remain at the Welsh site but an archaeological dig in 2018 revealed holes where stones would have stood, indicating a wider circle of 30-50 stones. There are 42 Welsh blue stones at Stonehenge, some from the same quarry as Waun Mawn, and one of them with an unusual cross-section which matches one of the holes left at Waun Mawn. Even more significantly, the Welsh circle seems to have been aligned on the solstice and had a diameter of 360m, the same as the ditch that encloses Stonehenge!



February 2021

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