I’ve finally got round to looking at the July 2012 issue of Past (available low-res http://www.prehistoricsociety.org/files/PAST_71_LowRes.pdf)

During my research on the Stonehenge Environs for last year’s field notebook, I had become a bit obsessed with Stukely’s description of the Avenue:
“..For at the bottom of the valley, it divides into two brances. The eastern branch goes a long way hence, directly east pointing to an ancient ford of the river Avon, called Radfin, and beyond the visto of it bears directly to Harradon hill beyond the river. The western branch, from this termination at the bottom of the hill 1000 cubits from the work at Stonehenge, as we said goes off with a similar sweep at first but then it does not throw itself into a strait line immediately, as the former, but continues curving along the bottom of the hill, till it meets, what I call, the cursus.”

Now this fascinated me, and as I look at the geophys on p14 of Past, I fancy I can see a continuation of the straight section of the Avenue, running up as far as the Cursus. As the authors so obligingly point out on p16, this is on a solar alignment. I can’t help but wonder if the original path was straight, and the diversion off to the river was an alteration. I was also fascinated by the idea that the avenue continued *beyond* the river crossing, as this would mean that the idea of the connection from Durrington to Stonehenge via the means of the river and Avenue wasn’t necessarily correct, if the avenue had other plans. I’m not sure I believe the idea of there being a direct use-connection between the monuments, and such can never be proven. I would go as far as saying both monument have a pathway down to a river (and the same may be true at Marden, so perhaps this is a henge thing rather than a Stonehenge thing).

I haven’t got very far pursuing this yet, as although I can see a linear feature heading towards Harradon hill, this doesn’t look terribly convincing. I would have to potter around and have an actual look I think.

Written on August 18th, 2012 , Musings Tags:

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Notes from a field