Coventry & Warwickshire

Prehistoric henge discovered in Newbold-on-Stour

Mansell Farm, Newbold Image copyright Google
Image caption A housing development is earmarked for Mansell Farm in Newbold-on-Stour

A prehistoric henge, dating back almost 6,000 years, has been uncovered on farmland in Warwickshire.

The site, in Newbold-on-Stour, is earmarked for a housing development.

A geophysical survey led to an initial dig in 2016, but archaeologists have been "excited" to discover what was originally thought to be a burial mound is in fact a ritual gathering place.

Unlike Stonehenge, the site in Newbold consists only of a circular space, surrounded by a mound and ditch.

Dating back to between 4,000 and 3,000BC, its exact purpose is unclear, but Nigel Page, from Archaeology Warwickshire, said it was "very clearly ritual".

Five skeletons, believed to date to the late Bronze Age, were found in the ditch.

Dating on those is expected to be be completed in mid June, but Mr Page said they were in themselves a surprising find.

"Surviving skeletons in this area is so rare, because the soil conditions just sort of eat the bones," he said.

Image copyright National Trust / Historic England
Image caption The more famous Durrington Henge and Thornborough henges are similar in design to that found in Newbold

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