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?

21st June 2012

Field Notes 2012Posted by Vince Simmonds Thu, June 21, 2012 18:48:54

The Rollright Stones, Oxfordshire SP 296308 - northwest of Chipping Norton.

The Rollright Stones complex consists of three monuments - a burial chamber (portal dolmen), a stone circle and a standing stone. The stone circle is 30 metres in diameter, and is set on low bank with no ditch. A number of the stones were re-erected in 1882. There are a number of other suggested features within the surrounding landscape including Bronze Age barrows.

The monument site is located on a ridge overlooking valleys on either side depending on where you view the surrounding landscape from the complex. This differs from sites situated in basins such as Stanton Drew and Avebury and the Rollright Stones have been likened to sites in the northwest of England, in particular, sites located in Cumbria.

The monuments are probably Neolithic dating from about 3500 to 1500 BC and comprise of local Oolitic Limestone. The surface of the stones is eroded and pitted with solutional features, although the irregular shape might be the result of vandalism through time where passers-by have taken chips from the stones to ward off the devil. The lichen cover is abundant and some colonies are thought to be 400 to 800 years old.

It is worth noting that the pitted surface of the Jurassic Oolitic Limestone bears a similarity to those of the same rock type at Stanton Drew.

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