Home Newsletter Locations Diary
Topic Alpha County Sections By

Travellers Resource


Amesbury, Wiltshire

Featured Location Guide

"A part of the World Heritage Site - Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites"

Woodhenge Panorama by Elaine Owen 

Woodhenge is located only a short distance, 2 miles NE of Stonehenge and next to and within sight of Durrington Walls.    It is an ancient location that is thought to have contained a timber circle. Today you see concrete markers showing the location of post holes similar to The Sanctuary, nr Avebury  

It is a part of the World Heritage Site covering Avebury, Stonehenge and associated sites.

Woodhenge was discovered from an aerial photograph taken in 1925. It was first excavated in 1926 and 1929. There were more excavations in the 1970's and  in 2006. The earlier excavations found holes of 2 stones and 169 post holes. The latest found a larger number of stone holes arranged in a cove.  The deepest of the post holes are 2 metres deep, and this would support a timber post up to 7.5 metres above the ground. These posts would have weighed up to 5 tonnes each and are arranged similar to the bluestones at Stonehenge. Other similarities with Stonehenge are that they both have entrances oriented approximately on the midsummer sunrise and the diameters of the timber circles at Woodhenge and the stone circles at Stonehenge are similar.

No one knows its use, there are suggestions that it is connected with the progress of the sun, but with 169 posts and some stones, some are sure to line up with any theory.  There are many other features in this landscape that still are visible nearby and probably many more that are yet to be found.

These similarities and being geographically near Stonehenge was the reason behind its name.

The structure is a  ditch and outer bank, with 6 rings of post holes. The entrance through the bank and ditch is in the north east, as at Stonehenge.

In 1966 around 500 metres away another timber circle of similar size as discovered at Durrington Walls.  

In the earlier excavations two bodies were found, a child near the centre with its skull split open, and a teenager in one of the ditch sections. The child was said to be a dedicatory sacrifice, the body was destroyed in the London Blitz in the Second World War. However the English Heritage website dates this find as later in the 1970's. A variety of pottery was found dating from the Neolithic period. It is said to date from 2,300BC.

How it was discovered

Sqn. Ldr. Insall was an experienced flyer, who had been awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallantry in the Great War, (1914-18) and was familiar with this landscape.

Sqn. Ldr. Insall, flying a Sopwith Snipe in the early summer of 1925, was looking at the many barrows and the remains of the large circle at Durrington Walls. One of these differed from others in that it had white spots within it. He noticed that these were in a circle and there was a similarity with the arrangement of Stonehenge nearby. By June darker areas within crops marked out soil disturbances not visible on the ground. Considering it merited further investigation he photographed it from the air. Excavations were carried out over the following three years by the Wiltshire Archaeological team of Mr and Mrs B H Cunnington.

Further information Grid



Woodhenge, nr Amesbury, Wiltshire

Ceremonial County: Wiltshire

Grid Reference:


Map Link:


Aerial photo: Multimap



Best Times to Visit:

Any Time




English Heritage

Other useful websites:

Wikipedia   Wikipedia commons images


Wikipedia - Stonehenge, Avebury and associated sites

Nearby Locations:

Durrington Walls, Wiltshire     Stonehenge, Wiltshire

Avebury     Silbury Hill, nr Avebury   

West Kennet Long Barrow     WKLB Gallery

The Sanctuary, nr Avebury

Other Relevant pages: World Heritage Sites in the UK

World Heritage Sites     

World Heritage Sites - Further Information



Planning Grid


Woodhenge, Wiltshire

Grid Reference:


Getting there:

on small road just off the A345 north of roundabout with A303.


Off side road


by side of road


none, there is a picnic area nearby

Things To Do, See and Photograph:

post markers, plus  view of Durrington Walls  

What to take:


Nature highlights:








Opening times:

Open all the time



Photo Restrictions:


Other Restrictions:  
Special Needs Access: Flat site should present few problems
Special Needs Facilities:  
Children Facilities: Not a very interesting site for smaller children
Dogs Allowed:  

Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Further information and Planning Grids or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Topic or Section references from the Grid below. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.


By: Keith Park  Section: Stones Circles Key:
Page Ref: Woodhenge Topic:  Stone Circles Last Updated: 07/2009


This page:

Link directly to this page, with text or the button on right.

Text linking: Woodhenge, Wiltshire  on Photographers Resource

Linking Instructions                            http://www.photographers-resource.co.uk/

Photographers Resource, all the information for the photographer