Tuesday 26 July 2016

A Fourth Mesolithic Post Hole in The Stonehenge Car Park?

The old carpark at Stonehenge is famous for having three Mesolithic post holes discovered in 1966 (there was another pit marker WA9580 of probable similar age but with recuts in it)

During the relandscaping of the carpark following its closure a trench was dug just to the north of the 1966 excavations and just south of the fence line in the aerial photograph.

At position D (in the aerial photograph  - click to enlarge any picture) I noticed the trench had cut through a soil anomaly that to my untrained eye looked very like another post hole. The northern section was very clear but the southern section had modern disturbance and rubbish in the top.

Despite asking I was never given any information about this or the periglacial stripes uncovered and no excavation report seems to be forthcoming so I place these photos here in the public interest.

(Cleal, R. M. J., Walker, K. E. and Montague, R., 1995, Stonehenge in its landscape: Twentieth century excavations English Heritage Archaeological Report 10)
(Google maps annotated by T C Daw)

Spot marked D is the unreported disturbance spotted in a trench during the restoration of the carpark to grassland.

The north side - yellow and black markers are the standard plastic path used at Stonehenge - I need to recheck size, my notes are that they are 150mm long.

Larger photos:

The north side - larger version

The south side 

Position of mark with regard to fence and gateway

G and Vatcher, F 1973 Excavation of three post-holes in Stonehenge car park, Wiltshire Archaeological and History Magazine 68, 57-63

Click any picture to embiggen.


  1. Sure looks like a hole to me.

    Two things:
    1) It's on a line with the others.
    2) There's plenty of room between for other holes.

    Did anyone but you notice this, who put the markers there, and why has word of this escaped previous mention?


    1. Yes it was seen by others including the EH archeo overseer - after the trench had been dug. I put the markers there and was threatened with the sack if I mentioned it to anyone...

  2. Hi Tim,

    I've always been interested to know who exactly "oversees" archaeoastronomy issues. Equally, it's interesting that you quote in the singular "overseer"!

    A private email will be fine if you'd rather not disclose, but I will appreciate that you might rather not.

    I've investigated stone rows, and a fourth "marker" is something of an essential requirement for me. I have one really good example, but I plan to publish it a few "papers" down from the priority list, after I finalise my Stonehenge Dimensions study. I've made some positive progress towards this end recently.


    1. Hi Richard I look forward to seeing your finished work, it is going to be fascinating. No one oversees the archeoastronomy for Eh as far as I know, all I meant was that as with an excavation there were people who were meant to be looking over the digger driver's shoulder the whole time to check on what archaeology was being uncovered. I think in this case the system failed and no one was looking. I reported it to the person who should have been doing so.

  3. A belated thanks ( due to no internet for a week) to Tim for posting my exhibition and to Neil for very kind words, both much appreciated.
    It looks like a post hole doesn’t it, typical reaction from EH twerp/s.
    The 3 post holes look straight in line with the tree throw on the plans, in the photo without tree throw and with hole D do they look to be on a shallow arc?