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| New Farm, Henbury |
[720 x 577 jpg]
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|Description ||Picture courtesy of Google Earth.|
This site was discovered by the present author [the late Gordon Rowley] at a site now officially known as “Brickbank Farm, Henbury” but actually lying on ground belonging to the nearby New Farm . The discovery came about when, in the spring of 1971, the field at New Farm was ploughed, for only the second time in its known history. During this operation two large stones were unearthed. They were roughly globular glacial erratics, one of Millstone Grit and the other of limestone, both in the region of 30 to 40cm in diameter. In themselves the stones were unremarkable. However, an examination of the field boundaries revealed several more stones of a like or greater size, some of which had been used to form a stile. This concentration of boulders within an area of some 1,000 square metres, on terrain formed largely of sand and gravels where large surface stones are rare, led to the hypothesis that the stones had formed part of a structure, which had originally stood on the crest of the hill where the two buried boulders, had been found.
Excavation revealed a series of eleven pits, forming an ovoid figure, which contained a central pit. At 9.32 a.m. [ now 8.32am, double dayliht saving was in force in the 1970s] on December 22nd of that year it was observed that a sighting taken through the centre of the figure along its north-west/south-east axis pointed to the sunrise. This was not the true sunrise, which had occurred about an hour earlier and which could not be seen from this point because of intervening hills, but the apparent sunrise, that is the first view of the solar body as it rose over the rim of Sutton Common, lying to the southeast at a height of about 400 metres above sea level. From certain discoveries made it seems probable that the figure was originally marked out with stone columns and that its purpose was to mark the winter solstice. If this was so, then it would seem to indicate the practice by local people of an agricultural economy at the time when the figure was laid out, since the turn of the winter season towards summer, with its special implications for crop-planting, is of considerably more significance to the soil-farmer than to the hunter. No authoritative date can be assigned to the feature, but if it bears any connection with other known prehistoric monuments in the area (and this is not proven) it may date to around the beginning or the middle of the second millenium BC
|Great shot showing a circle in the ground? Not sure how we stand with copyright from GoogleEarth; will check. cheers, Tim.|
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