This circle is now destroyed and has no recorded measurement although it is thought that it was a circle henge with a centre stone. Does not appear on maps.
Winterbourne Bassett. Stone Circle
Although now partially destroyed it is thought to have measured 71.3 metres in diameter. It has outlying stones and a centre stone and is believed to be a circle henge. Close to Winterbourne Bassett is the also named Winterbourne Stoke Crossroads (SU.101417) where there is a linear cemetery of 10 barrows along with 2 further groups of barrows. The circle site is thought to date to around 2200-1400 BC.
This circle is now unrecognisable but is thought to have been a plain ring. It has a recorded measurement of 36.6 metres in diameter. Does not appear on O/S maps, but, is located close to the stone avenue leading from Avebury.
Avebury. Double Stone Circle (once a complex of 3)
Avebury is the largest and probably the most impressive in Britain. It far exceeds Stonehenge not only in size but also in it's layout and anyone truly interested in standing stone circles is highly recommended to visit this particular site. Energy line supports also argue the location of Avebury is ideal positioning for Earth Energy lines/Ley Lines as it is placed almost central South England and has many lines passing through or by it.
Avebury consists of 3 stone circles surrounded by an internal ditch and a bank. The bank measures 427 metres in diameter and approximately 1 kilometre in circumference. On the inside of the ditch stands the largest of the 3 stone circles, sometimes referred to as the Great Stone Circle. This stands 7 metres inside the inner lip of the ditch and comprised of approximately 98 stones. Unfortunately only 27 remain standing today. This is the largest stone circle in Britain with some of the stones weighing as much as 40 tonnes.
The stones themselves are blocks of micaceous sandstone also called sarcen. This type of stone can be found on the downs to the South and East of Avebury, which means that these stones must have been dragged approximately 2 to 3 kilometres to the site. Within the Great Circle are the remains of 2 smaller circles. The Central circle/North Circle was originally, approximately 103.6 metres in diameter and contained 30 stones of which only 4 now survive. At the centre of this circle was the Cove consisting of 3 huge stones arranged like 3 sides of a square, a similar type of design to that found at other stone circle such as Stanton Drew in Somerset and Arbor Low in Derbyshire.
Finally the last stone circle within the Great Circle at Avebury referred to as central South Circle is reported to have contained 32 stones, 5 of these still survive with 4 more marked by concrete pillars, at the centre of this circle was a huge 6.4 metre long stone. The South Circle, like the North, measures approximately 103.6 metres in diameter.
The Great Circle has 4 entrances, from the South Entrance you are able to see a double row of stones referred to as Kennet Avenue. This avenue originally ran for about 1 mile Southwards passing the village of West Kennet and ending at the Sanctuary on Overton Hill.
If visiting the area it is well worth investigating Silbury Hill. This hill is completely man made and was constructed in three stages. It is 40 metres high and covers 5.5 acres (2.2ha) at the base. Why it was constructed is still a mystery as excavations in the past have not ever supported the theory that it is a burial mound. It is reported to have been constructed around 2100 BC. Some theorists suggest that it may have been a primitive Orgone accumulator, (read up on Wilhelm Reich for further information on Orgone).
There are many odd standing stones around Avebury itself, two worth mentioning are called Adam and Eve (SU.089693) which stand 3/4 of a mile SW of Avebury village. In 1911 Adam fell and the crouched skeleton of a middle aged male was discovered having been buried by the side of the upright stone.
East Kennet. Langdean circle (Also known as Langdean Bottom)
This stone circle is now fairly unrecognisable and thought may have been part of an avenue. Although the only recorded information that could be found gave it's measurement as 10.1 metres in diameter. Does not appear on O/S maps.
Sanctuary. West Kennet
This circle is now destroyed but is reported to have been 2 concentric rings with an avenue with also had outlying stones. It is also recorded that the outer circle had a measurement of 39.5 metres in diameter whilst the inner circle had a measurement of 13.6 metres in diameter. This original site had a wooden building erected upon it believed for ritualistic purposes during Neolithic times. It was then replaced by a double Stone Circle by the Beaker Folk and at that stage joined to Avebury by means of the Kennet Avenue (Grid Ref: SU.103699).
Stonehenge measures 29.6 metres in diameter. It is classed as a circle henge and has outlying stones. One of these outlying stones is called the Heel stone and stands almost 5 metres high and is located very close to the main road. Stonehenge is argued by some to be one of the worst displayed archaeological sites in Europe, but it must also be said that it is also one of the most renowned sites in Europe. A lot of this stone circle, especially the centre, is closed off to the general public (except for Druid Festivals). Due to the fact that the amount of visitors to the site erodes the very ground around the stones. You are advised to take binoculars with you if you want to take a close look, do not expect to be able to touch the stones! There is a guided tour that comes in the form of a handset that you walk round with pressing numbers when you require information, this is very useful for uniformed people and kids just love them (they are inclusive with your entry fee).
Stonehenge itself has been altered many times over history. Its present state is as follows. A bank with external ditch surrounding the circle measuring 110 metres in diameter with a height of approximately 1.8 metres.
Inside this is a ring of 52/6 pits which are marked by patches of white chalk. These are called the Aubrey holes. There original purpose is still unknown but many think they were for some kind of astrological clock function. Outside the entrance to the circle, which incidentally is on the North East, is the Heal Stone which stands almost 5 metres high. These particular features date to around 2800 BC and thought to be the first part of Stonehenge.
Around 2100 BC an avenue of 2 parallel banks were constructed which runs North East from Stonehenge circle it then turns East and then South East for 2.7 Kilometres up to the River Avon. During 2000 BC whilst work was still going on at Stonehenge it is worth bearing in mind that this work was taking place before many of the great pyramids of Egypt were constructed. Stonehenge also has several links with astronomical predictions such as Midsummer sunrise, Midwinter sunset and is believed that it was used as some form of simple calendar when feasts and ceremonial days could take place. Although it is unlikely that this was the main reason why it was built, unless the people behind the design were fascinated by the passing and measuring of Time.
The building of Stonehenge covers from the Neolithic period to the middle of the Bronze age, although popular belief thought it was the Druids that built Stonehenge. They didn't actually didn't come onto the scene until 2000 years later by which time it was probably in ruins or was the subject of added building work. Over the years many recent books have been written about Stonehenge with numerous ideas covering everything from Egyptian colonists, Delian Greeks and space visitors. What is the real answer and what difference would it make to our understanding?
Not a Stone circle but the site of a Wood Circle which preceded stone circles, now marked with posts and plan.
It is uncertain as to whether this particular circle is the remains of a structure that had a roof or was open to the sky like a wooden version of Stonehenge. Excavations have taken place and these have led to the site being dated to around 2000 BC.
Woodhenge is one of the very few Neolithic wooden buildings so far discovered in Britain. Within the ditch, which is within an outer bank, Woodhenge is the setting of 6 concentric circles of which today are marked by concrete pillars indicating their original diameters. Incidentally this particular site was one of the first major discoveries made by ariel photography in Britain in 1925.
Broadstones. East of Marlborough
This circle is now unrecognisable and has no recorded measurements or description. Does not appear on O/S maps.
Chiseldon. Coate Stone Circle
This stone circle is a plain ring and measures approximately 68.6 metres in diameter. Unfortunately it is now greatly destroyed.