Posted by: travelrat | January 10, 2014

Durrington Walls

Durrington Walls

Many visitors come to see Stonehenge every year, but few find their way to the Durrington Walls. Indeed, if Stonehenge wasn’t there, I doubt if anyone but committed archaeologists would ever come there, even though it’s thought to be the largest henge in Europe.

You see, unless you know what you’re looking for, there’s very little to be seen, just a rather unremarkable raised bank and ditch. I used to drive past it every day on my way to work, and didn’t realise what it was, until it was told to me by a friend who worked for the Defence Land Agents.

It’s what was found below the surface that’s interesting. Some small finds were made during improvements to the A345 road back in the 60s, but the bulk of the discoveries were made by the Riverside Project, about eight years ago.

Now, I’m not an archaeologist, so hate to pronounce on these things, but the people I spoke to on the project were enthusiastic about the things they’d found. It would seem the whole area was a complex of wooden circles … rather like, I imagine, the numerous side-chapels in a cathedral ?? They’ve also discovered what they call ‘four posters’ … a structure where four wooden corner posts supported … what?

Evidence was also found of a settlement within the circle, and of the feasting that went on, probably on ceremonial occasions, but they may have eaten pretty well at other times as well.

It was suggested that the builders of Stonehenge lived here; but J.P. Reedman, in her novels Stone Lord and Moon Lord, said that this was a settlement called Deroweth, and that, apart from ceremonial occasions, was the abode only of the priests. It must be emphasised that both these books are works of fiction, but the suggestion does seem pretty plausible.

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Responses

  1. […] post, which is now eight years old and woefully out of date. There’s a more recent account at  https://travelrat.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/durrington-walls-2/ , and I shall be posting about the new discoveries […]


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