Rare stone circle found at prehistoric ritual site in Cornwall | Cornwall


A uncommon stone circle has been discovered at a prehistoric ritual web site in Cornwall, with seven repeatedly spaced pits mapped by a staff of archaeologists.

Bracken and scrub have been cleared over the winter at Castilly Henge close to Bodmin to permit archaeologists to survey the location. They discovered the pits mendacity in a crooked horseshoe formation.

Consultants consider the pits could as soon as have shaped an entire ring however floor situations on the time of the survey left archaeologists unable to collect clear knowledge on the northern a part of the henge inside.

Some stones had been eliminated and brought elsewhere, whereas others have been most likely pushed face down into the pits through which they as soon as stood upright.

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Castilly Henge is believed to have been constructed in the course of the late Neolithic interval, about 3,000–2,500BC. Outlined by an exterior financial institution and an inside ditch, the henge shaped an amphitheatre-style setting for gatherings and ritual actions.

Volunteers stand on the seven pits found at Castilly Henge near Bodmin.
Volunteers stand on the seven pits discovered at Castilly Henge close to Bodmin. {Photograph}: Historic England/CAU/PA

Not all henges comprise a stone circle, and there is just one different in Cornwall – Stripple stones on the slopes of Hawk’s Tor on Bodmin Moor. Archaeologists consider henge websites would have been used for gatherings and rituals.

Analysis at Castilly Henge started in 2021 when it was included in a scheme by Historic England to preserve and restore monuments on its at-risk register.

Volunteers led by the Cornwall Archaeology Unit cleared the location of vegetation that was threatening options of the location hidden under floor. This enabled groups from Historic England to hold out the primary detailed topographic and geophysical surveys of Castilly Henge.

Peter Dudley, a senior archaeologist at Cornwall Archaeological Unit, mentioned the administration of the “wonderful archaeological web site” has been improved with re-fencing. “Now the monument is wanting so significantly better.”

Ann Preston-Jones, a mission officer for at-risk heritage websites with Historic England, mentioned: “The analysis at Castilly Henge has given us a deeper understanding of the complexity of this web site and its significance to Cornish historical past over hundreds of years. It’ll assist us make choices about the best way the monument is managed and offered, in order that it may be loved by generations to come back.”

There may be proof to recommend Castilly Henge was used as a theatre within the center ages and a gun emplacement in the course of the English civil conflict.

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