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Historic England Research Records

West Amesbury Henge

Hob Uid: 1580342
Location :
Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Amesbury
Grid Ref : SU1423041370
Summary : A Neolithic stone circle and subsequent henge is located at the eastern end of the Stonehenge avenue (Monument Number 858883), beside the river Avon. Excavations in 2009 by the Stonehenge Riverside Project discovered nine pits, or stone settings, making an arc which probably formed part of a larger stone circle measuring perhaps 10m across and thought to have been erected around 3000 BC. Some of the pits contained small bluestone chips which prompted the name 'Bluestonehenge'. However, there are no confirmed bluestones from West Amesbury Henge. Charcoal and antler picks were also found. In about 2500 BC the stone circle was dismantled, it was theorised that the bluestones were then possibly moved to Stonehenge (Monument Number 219434). Later analysis by Rob Ixer and Richard Bevins proved there is no connection between the chips and the blue stones at Stone Henge. Then around 2400BC a henge ditch, about 25m in diameter, and outer bank were constructed. There do not appear to be any significant solar or lunar orientations within the monument.
More information : A Neolithic stone circle and subsequent henge at the eastern end of the Stonehenge avenue (Monument Number 858883), beside the river Avon, at SU 1423 4137. Excavations in 2009 by the Stonehenge Riverside Project discovered nine pits, or stone settings, making an arc which probably formed part of a larger stone circle measuring perhaps 10m across and thought to have been erected around 3000 BC. Some of the pits contained small bluestone chips which prompted the name ‘Bluestonehenge’. Charcoal and antler picks were also found. In about 2500 BC the stone circle was dismantled, with the bluestones possibly moved to Stonehenge (Monument Number 219434) and then around 2400BC and a henge ditch, about 25m in diameter, and outer bank were constructed. There do not appear to be any significant solar or lunar orientations within the monument. (1-2)

Analysis of the bluestone chips from the pits at West Amesbury has not conclusively identified any parent orthostat for the bluestone chips. In particular no bluestones have been identified from West Amesbury Henge.
However, debris from the Altar Stone (at Stone Henge) and orthostats Stonehenge 48 and 38 (all above ground) have been recognised and found to be numerically very rare but widely distributed throughout the Stonehenge Landscape and not just close to their parent stone. However as most of the occurrences are in late and disturbed archaeological contexts it is not possible to say when they were separated, but they are very rare in prehistoric contexts.(3)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Stonehenge: Exploring the Greatest Stone Age Mystery
Source details : Chapter 15: Bluestonehenge: Back to the River
Page(s) : 216-230
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : British archaeology
Source details : JAN/FEB 2010
Page(s) : 14-19
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 110
Source Number : 3
Source : Archaeology in Wales
Source details : "Chips off the Old Block: the Stonehenge debitage dilemma" By Rob Ixer and Richard Bevins. 2013.
Page(s) : Nov-22
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 52

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Neolithic
Display Date : Neolithic
Monument End Date : -2200
Monument Start Date : -4000
Monument Type : Henge, Stone Circle
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 14 SW 790
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 858883
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : ENGLISH HERITAGE: STONEHENGE WHS LANDSCAPE PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2013-12-31