New evidence of archaeological features in and around the three prehistoric stone circles at Stanton Drew has been revealed.
The results of a geophysical survey carried out by Bath and Camerton Archaeological Society (BACAS) in collaboration with Bath & North East Somerset Council's Archaeological Officer in summer 2010 have just been published.
The 2010 survey was led by John Oswin and John Richards of BACAS and shows evidence of below-ground archaeological features, including a second entrance into the henge monument first identified by English Heritage in 1997. The second entrance is south-west facing and forms a narrow causeway, defined by two large terminal ends of the circular ditch. Further work at the South-West Circle suggests that it sits on a deliberately levelled platform.
Stone circles like Stanton Drew's are known to date broadly to the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age (about 3000-2000 BC). In 2009 the BACAS team produced computer plots showing what appears to be the outline of an earlier Neolithic burial mound or 'long barrow' immediately to the north of the Cove – a group of three large stones in the beer garden of the Druid's Arms. The completion of a resistance survey at the Cove has now reinforced its interpretation as a long barrow, which would date to nearly 1000 years before the stone circles. The length, width and orientation are consistent with this type of monument, including indications of flanking ditches.
"The geophysical survey work at Stanton Drew continues to throw new light on these nationally important monuments" said Bath & North East Somerset Council's Archaeological Officer, Richard Sermon. "It tells us that what we see above ground today is only part of a complex that would have rivalled those at Avebury and Stonehenge."
You can find the survey results at: