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                  Unlocking the mysteries of the stones
with Eamonn McGivern


On 8th May, Blagdon Local History Society members and many visitors were treated to a wide ranging and fascinating talk about stone circles, including the local lesser known ones at Stanton Drew. Eamonn set out what is known, and more importantly not known, about these huge ancient monuments, Stonehenge and Avebury being the most excavated and visited.


Because we have no recorded history from four or five thousand years BC we have to rely on conjecture to come up with answers: why were they constructed, what were they used for and what significance did they have for our ancestors. Clearly a huge amount of effort went into moving monolithic stones  into particular alignments. Were they linked to sun worship, seasonal celebrations, meeting places, religious festivals, fertility rites or something else? We do know that there use probably changed over the thousands of years of their existence, that they were altered and plundered, that original earth henges, ditches and banks have disappeared.


Unlike Stonehenge and Avebury which have been extensively excavated with the latest technology, Stanton Drew circles remain much less well documented, in a farmer's field: The Grand Circle, two smaller ones and the three huge stones known as The Cove. It is now thought these three may have formed an entrance to a burial barrow. And in latter years technology has revealed that there were henges around the circles and nine concentric rings of timber posts within the largest circle. You can see Eamonn's power point and listen to his talk on our website He will also be leading a visit to Stanton Drew in the week beginning 15th July so do let us know if you would like to join us.

Stanton-Drew-StonesEamonn McGivern
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