Stanton Drew

After the rain and wind yesterday we were glad to awake this morning to clear blue skies and sunshine. Just right for another trip into the countryside and – you guessed it – more photos!

We didn’t go quite so far today, just about eight miles or so outside Bristol into the Chew Valley. We took a pleasant walk through the fields around the village of Chew Magna and stopped at an even smaller village called Stanton Drew to take in the standing stones.

[A single stone standing at an angle in front of a large tree];

The place must have been an important site around five thousand years back (give or take a few centuries). There are three circles and a variety of other arrangements in the area and a geophysical survey by English Heritage has shown that the megaliths were only one part of a larger complex including a surrounding henge and over four hundred pits – Stanton Drew was an important place rivaling Avebury in size.

[The north-east circle seen from within the Great Circle];

Now cows graze among the stones. Although we don’t really know what the circles were used for they have the atmosphere of a sacred place, like a great church or a tomb, and they are commonly thought to have been part of the ritual life of the stone-age people of Britain. People bring their own interpretations. I always find myself wondering what will remain of our culture in five millennia and who will wander among the remains, what they’ll make of us.