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?

24th to 27th February 2012

Field Notes 2012Posted by Vince Simmonds Mon, February 27, 2012 08:20:43

Been over at Stanton Drew with the Bath and Camerton Archaeological Society surveying the area around Hautville's Quoit [and the stone itself, of course].

Hautville's Quoit is located at NGR ST 60173/63811 using hand-held Garmin etrex GPS accuracy +/- 5 metres.

Much of the work so far has been concentrated on resitivity and magnotometer as well as EDM survey of the fields. Also some recording of the stone and its features.

Hautville's Quoit is a pale brown to grey sandstone. The sandstone can be described as comprising subrounded to rounded (high sphericity), fine to medium (250 microns), well to medium sorted, shiny polished mostly translucent grains of quartz, that appear matrix supported in a siliceous cement. There are noted numerous small clam-like (bivalves) fossil shells measuring in area up to 10mm x 6mm on some exposed surfaces, these are not yet identified. A white scaly appearance on some parts of the stone are likely to be due to lichen growth or as a result of weathering. The pock-marked surface might be the consequence of a number of factors that are still the subject of ongoing research. The quoit was examined using an illuminated field microscope with x30 magnification and hand lens with x8/x15 magnification, natural light conditions were good at times, the stone has been cleared of debris.

On a purely personal note the rock type that comprises Hautville's Quoit is not one that is recognised either in the local, nor broader surrounding area. There are a number of features of the stone that require some further consideration.

Lloyd-Morgan (1887) described the rock type that comprises the quoit as fine-grained sandstone. Lloyd-Morgan hesitates to offer any opinion as to the source of sandstones found at Stanton Drew, either that of the quoit or the stones found in the stone circle close by and states 'of the source, geological and local I am doubtful', he does, however go on to ask the question 'Is it possible that one or more of the sandstone monoliths may be sarsen - but whence?'.

Reference: Lloyd-Morgan, C. 1887. The Stones of Stanton Drew: their source and origin. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 33: pp 37 - 50.

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