Monday 21 December 2015

The Position of Stone Hole 97

English Heritage have marked the position of Stone Hole 97 with a very handsome marker.

Stone hole 97 was discovered by Mike Pitts in 1979 and is alongside the Heel Stone, it may be where a companion stone to the Heel Stone stood, or where the Heel Stone was moved from. The centre of it is abut 2m from the nearest point of the heel stone and is "cut through by the ditch around the Heelstone", with it mainly lying within the ditch enclosure.

Unfortunately the marker is about 5m from the Heel Stone and entirely without the ditch enclosure. If it marks where the second of a pair of stone stood the effect of two pillars bracketing the solstitial sunrise is now not obvious.

Before the marker was installed I wrote a bog post about getting the position correct. :( 

A quick photoshop of what a duplicate Heelstone would look like in Stonehole 97 (you will notice the marker to the right of "Stone 97"

ORIGINAL POST from May 2013

One of the improvements that is planned for Stonehenge is the marking of Stone Hole 97 and the Solstitial Alignment on the ground. But the plans seem to have 97 marked in the wrong place. 
UPDATE - EH say the mistake has been noted and will be corrected.

April 2012 EH plans for after the A344 is closed and grassed over from

Mike Pitts' plan at the same orientation taken from:

Mike Pitts' plan (and he discovered Stonehole 97) from

A more detailed plan of the Heel Stone area, though I haven't located the original source.

Heelstone, Stonehenge - Refraction Seismic (1984) from by Gary Denke

Click any to embiggen


  1. Hole 97 is indeed interesting!

    Stone 97 once had a moat around it and probably was contemporary with both North and South barrows who also had moats - this being the case one can confidently expect that stone 97 was also on a similar barrow. The fact that the barrow is missing shows that it was removed and stone 97 lowered and probably why its now at an angle as the hole was not the correct size. This makes stone hole 97 either pre-barrow or post barrow - I would go for the former as the heal stone has no real function - a part for the latter day druids, who were probably the re-engineers.

  2. Hi Tim,
    The original source for the Heelstone/S-97 map is a bloke called: 'The Texas Tycoon', and is (if memory serves) around 1989.
    I'll dig a little deeper for more.

    Seriously, with the 'Moats' already?


  3. Why would you dig a ditch Neil... oh I forgot it's a ceremonial feature? or is it religious? so much nonsense in archaeology I forget?

  4. Auger cores show Altar Stone originally in Stone Hole 96, the Heelstone in Stone Hole 97 (moved-rotated 1/4 turn clockwise). Heel Stone Fish head faced the Avenue (northeast) in 7th-6th century BC. The cut of Scroll Trench through Heelstone Ditch circling Altar Stone stump recent. Yea, 'very handsome marker' ~3m off, sad. 1984 Refraction Seismic detailed Heel Stone plan drafted 1985 at Hell's Gate, Possum Kingdom Lake. A Texas Tycoon (smiles)


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