If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.
New insights at Stonehenge works
TWO ditches belonging to the Stonehenge Avenue buried beneath the A344 have been uncovered as part of work on the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre.
The road has been closed and archaeologists have been investigating the ancient processional route of the Avenue, which links the monument to the River Avon.
Dr Nick Snashall, National Trust archaeologist for the World Heritage Site, said “This is a once in several life time’s opportunity to investigate the Avenue beneath the old road surface.
“It has enabled us to confirm with total certainty for the first time that Stonehenge and its Avenue were once linked and will be so again shortly.”
The Avenue is difficult to identify on the ground but is clearly visible on aerial photographs.
Once the A344 has been restored to grass in the summer of 2014, interpretation features will be put in place to clearly mark out the solstice alignment to enable visitors to appreciate the position of the Avenue and its intimate connection with and significance to Stonehenge.
The two ditches were found in their expected positions near to the Heel Stone, about 24 metres from the entrance to monument.
Heather Sebire, properties curator and archaeologist at English Heritage, said: “The part of the Avenue that was cut through by the road has obviously been destroyed forever, but we were hopeful that archaeology below the road would survive.
“And here we have it – the missing piece in the jigsaw. It is very exciting to find a piece of physical evidence that officially makes the connection which we were hoping for.”
The works have also identified holes where stones 17, 18 and 19 might have stood on the south west side of the outer sarsen circle.
Susan Greaney, senior properties historian at English Heritage, said: “There is still debate among archaeologists whether Stonehenge was a full or incomplete circle, and the discovery of these holes for missing stones has strengthened the case for it being a full circle, albeit uneven and less perfectly formed in the south west quadrant.”
Comments are closed on this article.