Stone circle immediately north east of Day House, Coate
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Sep-2019 at 05:49:07.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Swindon (Unitary Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SU 18144 82372
Reasons for Designation
Stone circles are prehistoric monuments comprising one or more circles of
upright or recumbent stones. The circle of stones may be surrounded by
earthwork features such as enclosing banks and ditches. Single upright stones
may be found within the circle or outside it and avenues of stones radiating
out from the circle occur at some sites. Burial cairns may also be found close
to and on occasion within the circle. Stone circles are found throughout
England although they are concentrated in western areas, with particular
clusters in upland areas such as Bodmin and Dartmoor in the south-west and the
Lake District and the rest of Cumbria in the north-west. This distribution may
be more a reflection of present survival rather than an original pattern.
Where excavated they have been found to date from the Late Neolithic to the
Middle Bronze Age (c.2400-1000 BC). It is clear that they were carefully
designed and laid out, frequently exhibiting very regularly spaced stones, the
heights of which also appear to have been of some importance. We do not fully
understand the uses for which these monuments were originally constructed but
it is clear that they had considerable ritual importance for the societies
that used them. In many instances excavation has indicated that they provided
a focus for burials and the rituals that accompanied interment of the dead.
Some circles appear to have had a calendrical function, helping mark the
passage of time and seasons, this being indicated by the careful alignment of
stones to mark important solar or lunar events such as sunrise or sunset at
midsummer or midwinter. At other sites the spacing of individual circles
throughout the landscape has led to a suggestion that each one provided some
form of tribal gathering point for a specific social group. A small stone
circle comprises a regular or irregular ring of between 7 and 16 stones with a
diameter of between 4 and 20 metres. They are widespread throughout England
although clusters are found on Dartmoor, the North Yorkshire Moors, in the
Peak District and in the uplands of Cumbria and Northumberland. Of the 250 or
so stone circles identified in England, over 100 are examples of small stone
circles. As a rare monument type which provides an important insight into
prehistoric ritual activity, all surviving examples are worthy of
The stone circle north east of Day House, Coate is a comparatively well preserved example of its class and will contain archaeological deposits providing information about Neolithic ritual, economy and environment.
The monument includes a stone circle located immediately north east of Day
House, Coate. The site occupies a flat clay plain situated at the foot of the
chalk escarpment, and is therefore intervisible with numerous prehistoric
monuments located on the Ridgeway. Visible remains of the stone circle are
represented by five recumbent sarsens arranged in an approximate semicircle
in the field to the east of Day House Lane. To the west of Day House Lane a
further four stones have previously been recorded, two immediately in front of
Day House and two others to the north and north east of the house. These
suggest that the overall diameter of the stone circle is approximately 92m.
Although these stones are no longer visible the pits in which they originally
stood survive as buried features and will contain archaeological deposits.
The modern road surface of Day House Lane together with all fence posts and
buildings are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath these
features is included.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing