The Stone Circles at Stanton Drew

I have always been fascinated by standing stones… I remember visiting Stonehenge when I was very young, and being amazed (the place looked significantly less impressive on subsequent visits, fenced off from visitors and circled by a motorway). But I never made it to the Stanton Drew stone circles until last year.

There are actually three contiguous stone circles at Stanton Drew, the largest of which is 113m in diameter – larger than Stonehenge, and the second largest circle in Britain after Avebury. The Stanton Drew stones are believed to have been raised during the Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age: somewhere around the 3000-2000 BC mark. A few have since fallen down, but the circles are clear to see.

A herd of cows was just investigating the stones when we arrived (fresh from our visit to Colin’s Barn, a wonderfully weird little folly nearby). The cows drifted through the circle, one of them pausing to lick the moisture off a menhir before moving on. Crows announced our arrival from their perch in a bare, twisted tree that stood nearby.


The stone circles at Stanton Drew.
The stone circles at Stanton Drew.

There are local legends that tell how the devil once visited a wedding party held in the field here; he played his fiddle to the guests, transforming them into pillars of stone. More contemporary theories suggest the megalithic complex was constructed on a crossing point between ley lines. The place felt powerful, in its rugged, rocky kind of way – primordial, even. When I closed my eyes, I could almost feel the psychic energy of the ancient rituals conducted here.

Other visitors came from time to time – a young family, first, then later a man dressed in the orange robes of a Buddhist monk. He sat for a while inside the circle, chanted, then walked from one stone to the next brushing them with his hands. We left him to his meditations; crossing the road for a different kind of ritual, a pub lunch and a pint at the aptly-named Druid’s Arms.

Stanton Drew Stone Circle-1

Stanton Drew Stone Circle-2

Stanton Drew Stone Circle-3

Stanton Drew Stone Circle-4

Stanton Drew Stone Circle-5

Stanton Drew Stone Circle-6

Stanton Drew Stone Circle-7

Stanton Drew Stone Circle-10


Sunset at the Druid's Arms in Stanton Drew.
Sunset at the Druid’s Arms in Stanton Drew.

Support The Bohemian Blog on Patreon

Support The Bohemian Blog on Patreon.

Since its creation in 2011, this site has published more than 100 long-form articles now covering 40 different countries. Some reports have even made international news. But it remains the work of just one person… so if you like what you’re reading, please consider supporting me on Patreon. Help me keep this site growing, and in return you’ll get access to a hidden area featuring another 100+ posts of exclusive content and image galleries.

Got a comment? I read them all – but if you need a response it's better to send me a message.