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Saturday, 23 August 2014

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Stone me! It’s Britain’s newest stone circle

A STONE circle has been restored to its former glory after “going missing” for over 200 years.

The circle was discovered in a meadow at Wilton, near Egremont by landowners Philip and Lyndsey Johnson. And according to Dr Terence Meaden, a research archaeologist from Oxford University, the stones could be over 4,000 years old.

The formation was unearthed when the Johnsons began researching the history of their house.

They came across an 18th century map with a drawing of the old stone circle in a field close to their home. It was marked “Druids Temple”.

Further investigation showed the stones were probably moved by a farmer around 1800. The stones were found in a nearby hedge.

The discovery attracted the attention of the Stone Circle and Henge Trust’s founders Professor Meaden and Paul Daw, who have been on the scene to aid in the reconstruction.

“I was very excited when I heard about the find. It isn’t often that all the stones remain in the area,” said Mr Daw.

Originally only three stones were discovered but, when more people got involved, the rest of the stones were found and removed from the hedge-line by a tractor. They have now been restored into a circle in the original field, at the spot where they were shown on the 18th century map.

Mr Johnson said: “It’s a bit like Morecambe and Wise – they’re the right stones but we can’t be sure they’re all in the right order!”

The hope for the future is for the Stone Circle and Henge Trust to obtain the land to allow the trust to preserve it and erect a sign displaying the history and details of the circle for the public to visit and enjoy.

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