|22 October 2005
Devil's Quoits stone circle is being restored
The Devil's Quoits Stone Circle and Henge, near Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire (UK) only just survived the 20th century. Part of an ancient north-south trade route in a landscape rich Neolithic and bronze age sites (many now reduced to crop marks) the henge almost didn't survive the second world war, an airfield's runway was built over half of it. After the airfield was ripped up, the site was quarried for gravel and recently became a landfill waste disposal site. So it is nothing short of miracle that three of original standing stones were saved, albeit felled and moved, and that part of the henge's ditch and bank remained visible.
In recent years, teams of archaeologists have been working alongside the landfill site's owners to rebuild the earthwork with the original stones and replace the lost stones with new locally sourced megaliths. Particularly exciting work has taken place in the past two weeks. With the henge's ditch, banks and berm, now green with vegetation, the stones have started to go up. Last week three had been erected; this week there are eight, including two of the original stones.
The largest original stone is ready to go up, and by the looks of things will probably stand again this week, possibly after more than 60 years. Stanton Harcourt resident Cleo Stacy, who lives 250 meters from the henge, was delighted at the news. Cleo said: "With so much of the local landscape trashed and exploited over the past century, it's great to see the Quoits, my heritage, taken seriously and properly rebuilt. This is my stone circle and I can't wait to share it with visitors."
Please note that the site has no public access and is not yet ready for visitors.
Source: Heritage Action Journal (12 October 2005)
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