As part of our series of days out around Glastonbury this post is about a day trip to the Stone Circle at Stanton Drew. Stanton Drew is around a 45 minute drive from us off of the A39 just outside of Bristol. It is only a short drive off of the main road so very easy to find and could also be incorporated into a day trip to Bristol from us here at Middlewick.
We went on a snowy day in February.
One thing to note is that Dogs are not allowed on the field with the stone circle but there are plenty of dog walks around and the pub is dog friendly.
Stanton Drew is one of the largest Stone Circles in EnglandThere are three Stone Circles at Stanton Drew and the Great Circle measures 113 metres in diameter. This makes it one of the largest stone circles in England yet very few people know about it. There are 26 upright stones and surveys of the area show that this was just a part of a once more elaborate and important ritual site.
The first recorded history of the circle was over 300 years ago. Over those years the stones have been the subject of traditional folklore. There are tales of the stones being petrified members of a wedding party and its musicians. The story goes that they were lured by the Devil to celebrate on the Sabbath and they were punished by being turned into stone.
Stanton Drew is managed by English Heritage and in 1997 they initiated a geophysical survey of the field. The survey showed that the remains are just the ruin of a much more elaborate and important site. Under the surface, there can be seen a complex pattern of large buried pits which are arranged in nine concentric rings within the stone circle.
The Village of Stanton Drew
The tiny village of Stanton Drew was listed in the Domesday Book as Stantone. In Old English this means ‘The stone enclosure with an oak tree’. Take a peak inside of the village church which has been a place of Christian worship for over 800 years. There are some beautiful homes in the village so have a little walk around. Then head to the local pub, the Druid’s Arms.
The Druids Arms Pub Stanton Drew
The Druids Arms Pub is open for food 7 days a week so worth stopping in for a meal or at least a drink beside the fire. The historical pub is so nice it even caught the eye of the producers of the ITV series Broadchurch. It was transformed into the Rising Sun pub and appeared in the television series. There is a large back garden and you will find some of the stones inside of it. If you go with kids they can search for the fairy door in the trees.
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