According to today’s Guardian archaeologists have discovered evidence of what may have been another large stone circle located a little more than a mile away from Stonehenge. The new find on the west bank of the river Avon has been called "Bluestonehenge", after the colour of the 25 Welsh stones of which it was once made up.
Excavations at the site have suggested there was once a stone circle 10 metres in diameter and surrounded by a henge (a ditch with an external bank). The stones at the site were removed but the sizes of the holes in which they stood indicate that this was a circle of bluestones, brought from the Preseli mountains of Wales, 150 miles away.
The standing stones marked the end of the avenue that leads from the river Avon to Stonehenge, a 1¾-mile long processional route constructed at the end of the Stone Age. The outer henge around the stones was built about 2400BC but arrowheads found in the stone circle indicate the stones were put up as much as 500 years earlier.
Project director, Professor Mike Parker Pearson, of the University of Sheffield said his team was waiting for results of radiocarbon dating which could reveal whether stones currently in the inner circle of Stonehenge were originally located at the other riverside construction. It should also show whether the newly discovered circle's stones were removed by Neolithic people and dragged along the route of the avenue to Stonehenge, to be incorporated within its major rebuilding about 2500BC. After that date Stonehenge consisted of about 80 Welsh stones and 83 local sarsen stones.
Dr Josh Pollard, project co-director from the University of Bristol said that "the newly discovered circle and henge should be considered an integral part of Stonehenge rather than a separate monument and it offers tremendous insight into the history of its famous neighbour. Its landscape location demonstrates once again the importance of the river Avon in Neolithic funerary rites and ceremonies."
Once again this is the sort of thing that I find fascinating. I am a sucker for a stone circle... The time, the effort and the ingenuity that went in to creating it amazes.