Stanton Drew is about 6 miles south of Bristol. Take the A37 from Bristol towards Shepton Mallet and after about 5 miles turn right at the roundabout on the A368 signed to Weston Super Mare. After a mile take a right turn signed to Stanton Drew. You can park by the Druid Inn where the cove is in the pub garden or if you continue past the pub turn right then left around some houses to a small parking space near the circles. There is a £1 entry charge and honesty box. Dogs are not allowed in the fields.
The Great Circle
We visited the site on 21st December, the winter solstice, and had the whole site to ourselves. Unfortunately the day was overcast with no sunrise or sunset and only a glimmer of sun when I took these photos.
The site contains a large stone circle with two more, one to the NE and one to the SSW. There are also the remains of two avenues and a cove.
The Great Circle is 122m (368ft) across made up of 36, mostly fallen stones, and is the second largest in the UK, the largest being Avebury.
The NE circle and avenue
The NE circle is beside the large circle and is almost 30m across made up of 8 large stones. The tall leaning stone is part of the stone avenue. An avenue extends from each circle towards the River Chew to the east.
The NE circle
Ancient Monuments Laboratory
English Heritage has carried out a
survey of the large field which
the Great Circle and the north‑cast circle.
that the megalithic
at Stanton Drew are the
more elaborate and important site than had
been dreamed of. Lying under the
within the Great Circle are the remains of a
elaborate pattern of buried pits. They are
in nine rings concentric with the stone
at the centre. The
of pits vary in diameter, from about 23m to
Circle is itself contained within a very large
enclosure ditch (approximately 135m outer
This is about 7m wide and has a broad
or entrance facing to the northeast. Sites which bear the closest
patterns discovered at Stanton Drew include
near Stonehenge and the Sanctuary
The Great Circle
21 Dec 01