The Hayloft Stable. Young People. This attractive guide now in its second enhanced edition is the first overview of its kind to be published for many years and benefits from previously unpublished research. The guide will take the reader on an exciting journey of discovery into these enigmatic monuments and their incomparable landscapes so beloved by the Romantics. The book lists in detail some 50 sites and is superbly illustrated with colour photographs, plans and rare antiquarian plates. The guide also provides the most extensive gazetteer of stone circles yet published, many of which have now disappeared from the landscape.
The strange origin of Scotland’s stone circles
With almost daily bulletins from a team of dedicated Stonehenge geek’s we promise the latest news as it happens. The Blue Stones were from the Prescelly Mountains, located roughly miles away, at the southwestern tip of Wales. A stone circle is an ancient monument of standing stones. It is not always precisely circular, often forming an ellipse, or more rarely a setting of four stones laid on an arc of a circle.
But archaeologists had excavated burials and other features of several stone circles in the region and managed to radiocarbon date bone and.
No matter how many times you gaze upon the mighty circle of stones rising from the Salisbury Plain, you’ll always be awestruck by them. The mystery of how and why the enormous sarsen stones and smaller bluestones were transported all the way from Pembrokeshire and erected here has fascinated people for centuries. The vast and rich henge monument of Avebury — a complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial sites — contains three stone circles, one of which is the largest in all of Europe.
Its main outer megalithic circle measures more than 1, feet m across and originally consisted of around standing stones. It encloses two smaller circles. The southern circle focused on a central point, the great Obelisk, which was removed in the 18th century. It would have been the largest stone in the circle at 21 foot 6. A circle of vast prehistoric shafts has been discovered just under two miles 3. Radiocarbon dating revealed the shafts are 4, years old and from the Neolithic period.
It’s likely the same people who constructed Stonehenge built the shafts at Durrington Walls, now the largest prehistoric site discovered to date in the UK. Sadly only four of the 12 remain in situ but at nearly 20 foot 6m high they still make a mighty powerful impression.
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Stones of Stenness. The Megalithic Tombs of Orkney. At Clava near Invernes a group of three chambered tombs have been found, each of which is surrounded by a stone circle. There is no way of proving it archaeologically but the simplest and easiest thing would have been to build the stone circle first and then the tomb. In Britain and Ireland some 1, of them have been identified, all built between about and BC.
This stone circle and henge on the remote archipelago of Orkney in the Northern Isles of Scotland dates back to the third millennium BC.
It was during my first venture north to Orkney that I met Daphne Lorimer. At that time it was simply a short visit to see if fieldwalking would be a viable method of discovering Neolithic settlement in the islands. Of course, I was entranced by the islands and this first encounter marked what was going to be the beginning of a never ending fascination with Orkney. But during the early years of investigation, when searching for the elusive settlements and villages of the Neolithic on a very small budget, it was Daphne’s kindness that I most remember – from baths to dinners and I love Daphne’s dinners!
There is no doubt in my mind that the amazing vibrancy of Orcadian archaeology is due to her perseverance and enthusiasm. The Orkney Archaeological Trust has flourished under her guidance and includes some of the nicest people I know. This is not accidental but due to her tireless work. So Daphne, as some small recompense for dragging you out countless times to examine skeletal remains often my mistaking sheep bones for human bones!
I would like to keep you up to date with my latest project on stone circles – this is a small gesture but I think you know my feelings towards you and your work for Orcadian archaeology. One of the most spectacular classes of archaeological monuments in Britain are the great stone circles of the late Neolithic. Unsurprisingly, more people visit stone circles than any other form of prehistoric sites. In many ways their popular appeal lies not only in the striking imagery of a ring of massive stones but also in the curiosity of the apparently intangible labour and practices that gave rise to the ‘completed’ monument encountered today.
An ancient wonder of the world, Stonehenge is a classic example of Neolithic engineering and one of the best-preserved monuments of its kind in Europe. Stone circles were important features of burials and religious rituals during the Neolithic period, so it should come as no surprise that there are a large number dotted around the country — over 1,, to be exact.
Situated at the peak of a small hill and flanked by a series of larger peaks, including Blencathra, Skiddaw, and Helvellyn, the latter the second highest peak in England, this landscape is arguably some of the most dramatic in the entire country.
Recumbent stone circles date from the Bronze Age, which is roughly the period between c. BC to c. BC. The Bronze Age saw enormous social changes.
The celebrated stone circle standing proud on Salisbury Plain with its trademark lintel-topped sarsens has been an enduring source of fascination for millennia. The first monument there, a circular ditch and bank, was dug in c BC, and a timber or stone circle erected inside it. Then, much later, in c BC, the first monoliths of local rock were brought in. Over the course of the next several hundred years, stones were put up, taken down, moved around, added to, and then finally re-erected to the shape we see today.
At Stonehenge, there is a circular bank, but it is inside a ditch, so these elements are the wrong way round. Given the large size of some of these places, the construction of these monuments would have required a considerable number of people to build them. Their monuments survive, but their houses rare exceptions aside, particularly in Orkney are lost to us, so in the later Neolithic and earlier Bronze Age, these henges and stones circles seem to have been the prime concerns of the people who built them.
Settlements are not always found in their immediate vicinity. Combined with finds of exotic objects in and around the circles, the evidence from isotope analysis of the bones of animals eaten at these sites points to the fact that people were travelling to get to them. What were they coming to do? Well, eating seems to have been a big thing.
Feasting, particularly on pork, is attested by excavated remains of animal bones.
Only five stones remain, including the recumbent, two massive stone blocks in situ one the west pillar and two prostrate and broken stones, one the east pillar. They are set in an oval bank, the area enclosed being lower than the natural ground surface. Excavation revealed two phases of this circle. The ground was first levelled by construction of a clay and rubble platform, up to 1.
The first phase of the monument consisted of a low oval bank of stones, There was a ring cairn circa 4.
Where excavated they have been found to date from the Late Neolithic to the Middle Bronze Age (c BC). It is clear that they were designed and laid out.
There are 15 stone circles included in the Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks database, click here to skip to the listings with links to further coverage and photos. The stone circles of the British Isles are thought to have an indigenous origin and date from around – B. They arose in the context of the rise of farming in the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age and most are thought to have been constructed during the second millennium B. Whilst stone circles are not unique to the British Isles the examples in the rest of Europe are typically later and smaller and usually surround burial mounds, the exception being stone circles in Brittany which are similar to those found in the south-west peninsular of England and probably have the same cultural roots 2.
There are hundreds of stone circles in the British Isles that have survived mostly in the highland areas. In the West Country there are 25 stone circles in Cornwall, 17 in Devon 15 of these on Dartmoor , 5 or 6 in Somerset and 7 in Dorset 4. The stone circles of Dartmoor are parochial and small in character in contrast to the grand regional circles at Stanton Drew and Avesbury. The Dartmoor stone circles are around metres in diameter and typically consist of small stones enclosing a flat interior located on very gently inclined slopes.
Image of a Standing Stone split with a mirror and so reflecting itself.
Stone circles are ancient purpose-built rock structures found all over the world. Their origins and uses are a source of continuing research and debate. The number of standing stones in a circle can range from 4 to
Ancient Origins articles related to stone circle in the sections of history, archaeology, An ancient monument comprised of enormous stone circles dating to.
Summer Solstice or midsummer is the longest day of the year when, weather permitting, we can enjoy up to 17 hours of sunlight. Friday 21 June is officially the start of summer for those of us living in the western hemisphere, but it also has another meaning for pagans and druids. The day signifies rebirth and is also an opportunity to acknowledge the power of the sun, which is at its highest point in the sky.
Stonehenge, the ancient stone circle in Wiltshire , is inundated by revellers every year who arrive in droves to watch the sun set on Midsummer Day. In , over 13, people attended the site. Although the exact purpose of Stonehenge is unknown, it is believed to be a prehistoric temple aligned with the movements of the sun.
People Were Tracking Celestial Events 5,000 Years Ago, Stone Circles Reveal
Drombeg stone circle is dramatically situated on a rocky terrace with sweeping views over farmland to the Atlantic Ocean. Drombeg is perhaps the finest example of a distinctive series of stone circles found in Cork and Kerry. Stone circles were places of ritual and ceremony in the later Bronze Age period c. Also at the site is a fulacht fiadh or prehistoric cooking site. At Drombeg the seventeen stones are symmetrically arranged so that one of the stones the axial stone is set on its side and placed directly opposite a pair of tall stone the portal stones that form the entrance to the circle.
The stones reduce in height from the portals to the axial stone which has two shallow cup marks carved on its upper surface.
Located in the Lake District in Cumbria, Castlerigg is believed to be one of the oldest stone circles in the UK, dating to around 3, BC.
A stone circle is a circular alignment of standing stones. The best known examples include those at the henge monument at Avebury , the Rollright Stones , and elements within the ring of standing stones at Stonehenge. Ancient stone circles appear throughout Europe, with many existing in the Pyrenees , on the Causse de Blandas in southern France in the Cevennes , in the Alps, Bulgaria, and Poland. Stone circles are usually grouped in terms of the shape and size of the stones, the span of their radius, and their population within the local area.
Although many theories have been advanced to explain their use, usually related to providing a setting for ceremony or ritual, there is no consensus among archaeologists as to their intended function. Their construction often involved considerable communal effort, including specialist tasks such as planning, quarrying, transportation, laying the foundation trenches, and final construction. There is growing evidence that megalithic constructions began as early as BCE in northwestern France,  and that the custom and techniques spread via sea routes throughout Europe and the Mediterranean region from there.