Thornborough Henges

It is not every day that North Yorkshire hits the headlines in the local and national news as we did the other day. When it does the news is often depressing so my attention was immediately drawn to the headlines such as that in Sky News – ‘Stonehenge of the North’ opens to public as Thornborough complex gifted to nation. Then I found similar headlines on the BBC, ITV, The Guardian and the Stray Ferret!

So what exactly was creating such interest in the media? Quoting English Heritage – The Thornborough Henges complex, near Ripon, is an extremely important site, consisting of three giant, circular earthworks (known as ‘henges’) each more than 200m in diameter. Dating from 3500 to 2500 BC, the henges are of outstanding national significance. The earthworks are thought to have been part of a ‘ritual landscape’, comparable with Salisbury Plain in south-west England, and are probably the most important single ancient site between Stonehenge and the Orkney Islands in Scotland.

Thornborough Henges – English Heritage

There are three henges running north to south over a mile long. Two have been given to the nation by the construction company Tarmac. Lightwater Holdings, a local company, has given parts of the wider monument.

The human effort to make the henges would have been enormous, comparable to Stonehenge or the standing stones at Avebury. The earth banks around the circles would have been around 5 metres high and there is evidence they would have been coated with bright white gypsum.
Why not read more about this incredible piece of North Yorkshire History on the English Heritage Website and possibly make it one of the places for a country walk and take in the atmosphere of our ancestors?

Don’t forget to click on the link at the bottom of the English Heritage page to read about the fascinating history and of other features in the wider landscape.