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WOODHENGE

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  DOUGH COVER
DESCRIPTION + /

Woodhenge is a henge surrounded by a ditch and outer bank with an entrance to the north-east, believed to date to around 1800 BC. The interior of the henge includes six concentric rings of timber postholes, representing the site of a large circular structure, now marked by concrete bollards. The surrounding ditch was 12 metres wide and 2.4 metres deep, separated from the bank by a narrow berm. The outer bank is up to 10 metres wide and about a metre high. The outermost ring of postholes measures 43 metres by 40 metres. The site was recorded as an earthwork in the early 19th century by Colt Hoare, although until the 1920s it was regarded as a large disc barrow. Aerial photographs revealed the postholes as cropmarks, prompting excavation in 1926-8 by M E and B H Cunnington. This produced the type site Class I 'henge' monument. Additional excavations occurred in 1970. Excavations revealed a crouched inhumation within a grave dug into the bottom of the ditch, opposite the entrance. A second grave containing the crouched skeleton of a child was found near the centre of the monument. Other finds included a cremation, pottery, chalk axes and other tools. The site was originally known as 'Dough Cover', the name 'Woodhenge' emerged later during the Cunnington's excavations. More recent investigations by the Stonehenge Riverside Project team have explored the relationship of this monument with the circle of wood at nearby Durrington Walls and Stonehenge, establishing how these various monuments might have been integrated into a single scheme in which the structures were linked by artificial avenues and the natural feature of the River Avon. It has been suggested that the different materials used (i.e. stone, wood etc) may also have had significance for ideas and practices of transformation involving the living and the dead. The site is in the care of English Heritage.

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