Thursday, 3 March 2016

Stones in Aubrey Holes

I found the following certainty that the Aubrey Holes held stones interesting as it is taken from the 1924 edition of Stonehenge Today & Yesterday - Frank Stevens which was the official guidebook and is contemporaneous with the excavations.

... the recently discovered Aubrey 

Holes" (1920). When Aubrey made his plan of 

Stonehenge in 1666, now preserved in the 

Bodleian Library, Oxford, he indicated upon it 

certain depressions at regular intervals inside the 

circular earthwork. 

Time had entirely obliterated these depressions, 

so after due examination of the map at Oxford, 

Col. Hawley, with Mr. R. S. Newall, explored 

the sites in 1920, with the result that 23 of 

the depressions were discovered and excavated, 

and others located already await their future 


They occur roughly at intervals of 16 ft. within 

the outer bank, and vary little either in size or 

shape, being rather over 3 ft. deep and ft. in 

diameter, all more or less circular. The solid 

chalk, which lies very close to the surface at 

Stonehenge, has in many cases been crushed on 

the sides of the holes nearest to the outer circle of 

Trilithons, which suggests that the stones which 

formerly stood in these holes have been removed 

from them. That the holes contained upright 

stones is beyond question. 

Nearly every one of the 23 holes examined 

contained cremated human remains, and in three 

cases the cremation had taken place in situ....


  1. This is the first I've heard about cremations being performed in any of the holes.


  2. Nice piece of research Tim!

    Something that is obvious and shows that the stones were in place during the 'so called' first phase of Stonehenge - which clearly make the initial construction much older than current 'estimations' blowing MPP's initial bluestone version of Stonehenge in Wales - out of the water!!