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Prehistoric

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ARTHUR’S QUOIT, Pembrokeshire

Arthur’s Quoit (or Coetan Arthur), according to legend, was thrown from nearby Carn Llidi by King Arthur. This is one of many 'Arthur's Quoits' in Britain - one source identifies more than 30. It is the remains of a single-chambered Neolithic burial chamber, or Dolmen, between 4 and 6,000 years’ old; the capstone (the bit that reminded folk of a quoit) is about 20’ long and now only supported, seemingly precariously, by one upright stone.

Post code is a guide only.  This Arthur's Quoit is located on St David's Head, where there is also the remains of a small prehistoric hut settlement, and can only be reached on foot. Park in Whitesands Bay and follow the coast path.

St David's Head
Pembrokeshire
SA62 6PS
Prehistory
St David's Head
Whitesands Bay
National Trust
AVEBURY HENGE

Enormous Neolithic stone henge and bank surrounding the entire village of Avebury.  Dates from c2600BC.  Part of a wider complex of prehistoric sites nearby. Get up close and personal with the stones - which you cannot normally do at nearby Stonehenge.

Avebury
Wiltshire
SN8 1RF
Prehistory
Avebury Henge
English Heritage listing for Avebury
Huge number of prehistoric sites, including West Kennet Long Barrow, Silbury Hill and Windmill Hill, within walking distance. Stonehenge not far away by road.
National Trust
CADBURY CASTLE

South Cadbury Castle is an Iron Age hill fort, overrun by the Romans in the 1st century and subsequently used by them, but then reoccupied and its defences restored in the sub-Roman period and in occasional use up to at least the 10th century. It is one of several places associated with the legendary King Arthur and suggested as a possible location for the mythical Camelot. The walls and defences are now wooded, but the size of them can be appreciated, and there is a wonderful view of Glastonbury Tor, on the mystical Isle of Avalon, from the top.

Take the pathway, Castle Lane, from the village; it is invariably muddy.

South Cadbury
Somerset
BA22 7HA
Dark Ages
Glastonbury, Wells
Unknown
CASTELL HENLLYS

Castell Henllys is a reconstructed Iron Age village, or fort, but the only one in Britain built on an original Celtic site. So the idea is that you walk in the footsteps of the Demetae tribe that lived there 2,000 or so years ago. It is very much geared to schoolchildren, but it is fascinating for all ages. As well as roundhouses, enclosures etc, there is a visitor centre and you can stroll through the surrounding countryside and take a picnic. Regular events are held.

Meline
Nr Crymych
Pembrokeshire
SA41 3UR
Prehistory
Castell Henllys
In the National Park off the A487 between Newport and Cardigan.
National Park
CASTLERIGG STONE CIRCLE

A Neolithic stone circle, about 97 feet (30 metres) in diameter, constructed around 3,000BC. Set against the backdrop of the Lakeland fells, it is a dramatic location and, on a lonely day, atmospheric.

The property is managed by the National Trust for English Heritage.

Castle Lane
Underskiddaw
Nr Keswick
Cumbria
CA12 4RN
Prehistory
Derwent Water and the other Lakes
English Heritage
CHIDING STONE

Block of smooth sandstone which allegedly (but probably not) gives the village of Chiddingstone its name and which has a mysterious past. One story is that it was used as a place of judgement in ancient times - hence 'chiding stone'. The village is a peach - most of the buildings are owned by the National Trust and are over 200 years old.

Chiddingstone is located on a minor road between Edenbridge and Tonbridge; the River Eden flows just to the north.

Chiddingstone
Nr Edenbridge
Kent
TN8 7AH
Prehistory
Chiddingstone's Chiding Stone
Chiddingstone Castle, Penshurst Place, Hever Castle
National Trust
DEVIL’S ARROWS

Three huge, mysterious, stones, of no obvious purpose, thought to have been erected c2,000BC. It is thought they came from Plumpton Rocks, about 9 miles to the south and that there were originally at least 5 stones in total. The Devil is said to have thrown the 'arrows' - which have other names, including 'the Three Sisters'. One can be found behind fencing on the south side of Roecliffe Lane, the other two in a field opposite, close to Boroughbridge Marina.

Roecliffe Lane
Boroughbridge
Nr junction with the A168
North Yorkshire
YO51
Prehistory
Boroughbridge website
Aldborough Roman town
Unknown
MAIDEN CASTLE

Enormous - according to English Heritage equivalent to 50 football pitches - Iron Age hillfort with multiple and complex ramparts and ditches. This was ancient Dorchester! Here, Vespasian's highly trained Roman troops overcame the British defenders, the Durotriges tribe, one of whom ended up with a ballista in his spine. There's not much to see, but quite a lot to marvel and wonder at.

Photo by Major George Allen (1891–1940) (Ashmolean Museum) via Wikimedia Commons

Winterborne Monkton
Dorchester
Dorset
DT2 9EY
Prehistory
Max Gate, Dorchester
English Heritage
PENTRE IFAN

Remains of a communal tomb constructed maybe around 3,500 BC. The remaining stones form a doorway with a capstone on top some 17 feet (5.1 metres) long and weighing an estimated 16 tonnes. It is thought the original structure would have been about 120 feet (36 metres) long. Bits of pottery and worked flint have been found on site, but no human remains have been found.

South east of Newport on a (very) minor road between the A487 and B4329.
Pembrokeshire
SA41 3TZ
Prehistory
Pentre Ifan
Cadw
SILBURY HILL

Silbury Hill is the largest man-made prehistoric mound in Europe. It was built roughly at the same time as some Egyptian pyramids, approx 2,400BC, and is about 120 feet (37 metres) high and 1,640 feet (500 metres) round. Its purpose is completely unknown.

Silbury Hill can be viewed from a path between Avebury and the A4 at West Kennet, but, to prevent damage, there is strictly no access to the hill itself.

West Kennett
Nr Avebury
Wiltshire
SN8 1QH
Prehistory
Avebury, Avebury Henge, Keiller Museum, West Kennet Long Barrow, stone avenues and Windmill Hill are all within walking distance. Park in Avebury.
English Heritage