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Historic England Research Records

Winterbourne Bassett Stone Circle

Hob Uid: 216296
Location :
Wiltshire
Winterbourne Bassett
Grid Ref : SU0938075500
Summary : Possible remains of Neolithic double stone circle, drawn and described by Stukeley, 1743. Later Hoare, 1821, cited the circle in the current position which was adopted by Ordnance Survey. A.C Smith 1884, found no trace of the circle and only 3 or 4 stones. Geophyiscal survey by the AML was undertaken in 1998, which failed to confirm the presence of a stone circle and suggested a natural scattering of stones. The subsequent report throws doubt on the current location and suggests it probably lies across the road to the south of the scheduled area.
More information : (SU 09367552) Stone Circle (NR). (1)

The remains of a Neolithic stone circle. It formerly consisted
of a double concentric row of stones, the outer circle being
234 ft, and the inner being 148 ft in diameter, with a single
stone in the centre (2).

Many of the stones had been removed by Stukeley's (3) time but
he describes a "single, broad, flat, and high stone, standing
by itself" to the west of the circle.

Smith (4) uncovered a number of stones in 1881-2 and produced a
plan.

Nearly all the stones are now destroyed (2) or almost overgrown
(5). (2-5)

Six stones, which form part of the circles, are visible above
ground level (letters correspond to those on Smiths plan (4)).

A. At ground level, 2.5 metres across.
B. 0.5 metres high, 1.6 metres across.
C. 0.1 metre high, 0.7 metres across.
D. 0.5 metres high, 1.1 metres across.
E. At ground level, 1.6 metres across.
F. 0.2 metres high, 1.7 metres across.

They are located on a slight north slope, which is under rig
and furrow.

The stone to the west of the circle mentioned by Stukeley (3)
may be that shown on the OS 6" 1960 at SU 09357563 (SU 07 NE 6)
however there is a very large (approximately 3.5 metres across)
triangular recumbent stone to the south-east of the 'circles'
at SU 09407545 which may have been the stone he saw.

Published survey 1:2500 revised. (6)

Scheduled. For the designation record of this site please see The National Heritage List for England. (8-9)

Geophysical and documentary research suggests that the currently accepted location of the Winterbourne Bassett stone circle must now be considered in doubt. The evidence suggests that the identification from a scatter of stones located at Upper Oxleaze may be erroneous. These may well be naturally occuring sarsens, without deliberate patterning. The Stukeley sketch seems to confirm that the circle lies elsewhere. It seems more likely that the circle lay to the south of the lane leading to Clyffe Pypard, either on the crest of the spur, or on its southern flank. The reference by Stukeley to a nearby barrow and outlying stone is not helpful, as they can no longer be identified, however from air photograph a ring ditch identified must be a contender. (10)


Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1960
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : VCH Wilts 1 pt 1 1957 125
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Abury, a Temple of the British Druids 1793 45 (W Stukeley)
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Ants of N Wilts 1885 76-8 plan (A C Smith)
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Source Number : 5
Source : Large Scale / Small Scale Map Revisers Comment
Source details : SS Reviser 22.3.56
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Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 MJF 22-NOV-72
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Source Number : 7
Source : SU 07 NE 5 (1972)
Source details :
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Source Number : 8
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 1924, Wiltshire
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Source Number : 9
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : English Heritage. 2013. ‘English Heritage: The National Heritage List for England’, < http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/resultsingle.aspx?uid=1005708 > [Accessed 16-APR-2013]
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Source Number : 10
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details : 2003. "A family chapel....to an Archdruid's dwelling: an investigation into the stone circle at Winterbourne Bassett, Wiltshire" by Andrew David, David Field, Joerg Fassbinder, Neil Linford, Paul Linford and Andrew Payne
Page(s) : 195-205
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 96

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Neolithic
Display Date : Neolithic
Monument End Date : -2200
Monument Start Date : -4000
Monument Type : Stone Circle
Evidence : Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1005708
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : WI 24
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 07 NE 5
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 07 NE 5
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1972-11-22
End Date : 1972-11-22