stanton drew stone circles

I have been researching the Stanton Drew Stone Circles for a number of years both as an individual and with members of the Bath and Camerton Archaeological Society. The stones seen at Stanton Drew are varied and include, among other rock types; silicified Dolomitic Conglomerate, Oolitic Limestone and Sandstone. The question is; from where were these various stone types sourced?

8th January 2012

Field Notes 2012Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, January 08, 2012 15:24:11

Not so much walking more of a drive around field trip to check up on some previously noted sites, to plot NGRs, and to confirm some of the underlying geology by referencing the appropriate BGS Maps 1:50 000 Scale, Sheets 264 and 280. NGRs have been plotted using a hand-held Garmin etrex GPS - accuracy +/- 6 metres.

Stowey Church ST 59914/59430

There are numerous examples of Sandstone with bedform features, including quartz gravel layers, used in the church construction this is particularly evident in the tower (above and below). The colour is variable ranging from reddish-brown to a pale grey and pink-brown, sand grain size is mostly fine to medium, gravel is sub-rounded to rounded, fine to medium of quartz. I would expect that this construction material was locally sourced. Surprisingly Pevsner describes the church as "small and of little architectural interest" and doesn't give any dates for the phases of construction (Pevsner, N. 1958. The Buildings of England, North Somerset and Bristol. Yale University Press, New Haven and London).

Felton Common ST 51851/64783 elevation 187 metres

Numerous boulders of Ashy Limestone and Tuff of Carboniferous age are seen in the common land and field boundaries (above and below).

At location ST 51625/64910 in a Bronze Age barrow there are several boulders of the same Ashy Limestone and Tuff exposed (below).

Kingdown ST 52831/63626

In a field boundary are numerous boulders of silicified rocks from the Harptree Beds of Rhaetic-Lower Lias Age (above and below). Some of these rocks are quite garish having a bright orange-yellow and orange-red colour (below), they appear to be a mostly fine grained material.

The sequence at Kingdown is Harptree Beds, Lower Lias and Mercia Mudstones, Triassic overlying Clifton Down Limestone, Carboniferous, further to the south are Dolomitic Conglomerate, Triassic strata (BGS Map 1:50 000, Sheet 264, Bristol).

Fairy Toot Long Barrow ST 52057/61825 (NMR 198102)

The rock at this location comprises White and Blue Lias, Lower Lias overlying Penarth Group usually described as the littoral facies at the base of the Jurassic and the Upper Triassic. The Mendip Littoral* area rocks generally comprise cream-grey, coarse-grained bioclastic limestones, pebbly limestones and conglomerates, the clasts are mainly derived from Carboniferous limestone. (*Littoral - beach environment)

Fairy Toot is described as a chambered long barrow of the Severn-Cotswold type consisting of a long trapezoid earth mound covering a burial chamber. Sadly, the site is now mostly destroyed.

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