Saturday, 23 August 2008

Invisible Stones

The above stone is one of the most unusual I have seen - it looks as though it should be standing upright as is nearly 13 foot long and much wider at one end than the other.

By chance I found these sarsens a couple of evenings ago - they are outside a small group of private flats at the top end of Grosvenor Road which leads to a footpath that used to access the old Princess Margaret Hospital (now the site of a new housing development). I walked past these stones in the past without actually seeing them - the other day I saw them.

The amazing quality of these ancient grey stones that originate from the sarsen drift on Marlborough Downs is their ability to become invisible - to blend with the background. I wonder how many people actually look at them and ponder on their history.

The east side of Swindon is peppered with sarsen stones - I've spotted them at Coate Water, at Shaftesbury Lakes, the Lawns, Queens's Park, at the start of the cycle track on Queen's Drive (route of old canal), on some open ground opposite St. Mary's Church in Rodbourne Cheney. They also crop up on the roundabout and outside the garden centre in the Rodbourne Cheney area.

Pete Glastonbury, who is a local expert on Avebury and Stonehenge believes, there was once a stone circle where the M4 now runs. I have to speculate as to what happened to the stones - did they get buried under the motorway or were some of them saved to be relocated around the old part of Swindon.