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STANTON DREW CIRCLES AND COVE

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Stanton Drew Circles and Cove comprise a large regular stone circle ('the Great Circle'), two large irregular stone circles, two associated stone avenues and 'the Cove' a closely spaced group of three standing stones. These Late Neolithic monuments are situated in close proximity, near to the village of Stanton Drew, overlooking the flood plain of the River Chew to the east. In addition, to the north east, across the Chew on a high ridge, is a recumbent standing stone known as 'the Outlier' or 'Hautville's Quoit'. The proximity of these monuments to each other, and alignments between them, indicate that these sites are possibly related as a single complex. The circles were recorded by the antiquarian John Aubrey in 1664 and a plan of them was published by William Stukeley in 1776. The Great Circle lies to the west of the village and is the second largest known in England, after Avebury. It is about 120 metres in diameter and contains 26 visible stones. In 1997, English Heritage, in whose care the site is, carried out a detailed magnetometer survey of the site. This revealed nine concentric rings of anomalies within the Great Circle ranging from 23 to 95 metres in diameter. These are believed to be an elaborate pattern of buried pits or post holes. In the centre of these was a further cluster of anomalies, possibly pits, and around the whole of the circle was a 7 metre wide ditch with a gap of 50 metres to the north east. These rings may possibly have held timber uprights in similarity to other major sites such as Woodhenge and the Sanctuary. On the north east side of the Great Circle is an avenue of 5 stones, further to north east is a irregular circle of 7 large standing circles with a second avenue of originally 8 stones next to it. To the south west of the Great Circle and south of the village is an irregular circle of 13 stones. Also on the south side of the village is 'the Cove'. For more information on all of these monuments please see the associated records.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.