Just over a week ago, a couple of fields within two miles of our house hit the national news. Those of us who live round and about have long known about our very own piece of history: not as visually impressive from ground level at Stonehenge but still thrilling to think about. Now we can share it with the rest of you.

Thornborough Henges are two enormous, human made earth-circles – 200+ metres in diameter, from the neolithic/early bronze ages: somewhere between 3, 500 BCE and 2,500 BCE. Imagine the effort required to construct such circles, originally about 5 metres high, thought to have been coated with bright white gypsum, making them an extremely visible and potent part of the landscape. Why were they built? Nobody is sure, but they almost certainly had a spiritual purpose. Ritual is still important at this site. On Friday, I’ll re-blog a post I wrote one May Day about the ceremony of Beltane held here every year.

To walk here, with only the henge itself surrounding us, in an area normally busy with fields of crops or sheep, with woodland, and with gravel pits, is even now an almost unnervingly peaceful experience.

The henges have rather suffered from rabbits and livestock over the centuries. Now, the monuments have been gifted by Tarmac and by Lightwater Holdings to Historic England and to English Heritage and their future will be more secure.

There is a third henge too. This was planted up as woodland in the Victorian period. Though it’s not a large wood, it’s a peaceful place where I love to go and stroll and spend quiet moments, disturbed only by birdsong. Here it is in summer.

At ground level, it’s impossible (for me) to get decent photos of the henges. I offer you just one, as my feature photo, and then leave the rest to this YouTube video, courtesy of the Guardian.

Come and visit. You can pop in for a chat here afterwards. I’d love to meet you!

Author: margaret21

I'm retired and living in North Yorkshire, where I walk as often as I can, write, volunteer, and travel as often as I can.


  1. I thought Arbor Low laid claim to being the Stonehenge of the North? The Guardian must have missed that. However, this is pretty impressive. What a tremendous boon drones are to modern archeology!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To my shame, I had to look up Arbor Low. P’raps that’s the Stonehenge of the Northern Midlands? Yes, drones show what we poor flightless humans are unable to pick out. To be fair, it wasn’t just the Guardian. It got coverage in all the papers, I think, and TV too. The place was crawling with visitors at the weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How wonderful. I bet you feel like it belongs to you being so close, a bit like me and ‘my’ hill which also has a Neolithic past ( an univallate Neolithic tor enclosure and was re-used as a hillfort in the Iron Age.) There is something very spiritual about such places.

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  3. Ooh, this is something for a future visit to your parts! As others have said, I do hope the publicity won’t result in it being overrun, but I suspect for the time being at least it should be fine 😀

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  4. In truth, you’re better off being a drone if you want to see the Henges at their best. I don’t think queues from every part of the kingdom and beyond are all that likely. Though admission is free!

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  5. What an amazing and fascinating tale. And those drones are – in this case – a Godsent, how else could we admire those splendid circles with their still reasonably high walls. There must have been a VERY strong spirit and dedication at those early times to construct something so awesome.

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  6. Pretty amazing. I bet it is a peaceful place, wonder why it took so long for it to be preserved or set aside for more than grazing…lots of questions… on to the Beltane post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luckily, I don’t think it will attract swarms. There are no plans to make it a Destination, and it’s rather in the middle of nowhere much. Our secret!


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