Stonehenge: Welsh landowner wants monument ‘reclaimed’ from England after breakthrough

Last month, Professor Mike Parker Pearson, from University College London (UCL) showcased his discovery of an ancient stone structure at Waun Mawn, in the Preseli Hills, during BBC Two’s ‘Stonehenge: The Lost Circle Revealed’ documentary. Experts now theorise that the dismantled monument in Wales became the “building blocks” of the Stonehenge attraction that stands in Salisbury, Wiltshire, today. Excavations and analysis of the area dated the stone circle to around 3400BC and found several similarities between both sites, leading Prof Parker Pearson to theorise people were moving eastward and bringing their cultural “crown jewels” with them.

And now Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park owner Lyn Jenkins wants the stones to make the 180-mile journey back again.

He wrote in a comment piece for the Western Telegraph: “Greece is trying to reclaim the Elgin Marbles. What if Wales tries reclaiming Stonehenge?

“They can re-erect it here, in Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park, Gwbert, from where we can view the Preseli Hills in the distance.

“If not, why doesn’t [Welsh First Minister] Mark Drakeford send Boris Johnson a bill for a few million pounds? After all, Stonehenge is an extremely lucrative tourist attraction.

“If Boris has no record of the original invoice, and won’t pay, he should do the decent thing and hand Stonehenge back.

“Of course, being a historian, [Mr Johnson] may well point out that the 5,000-year-old monolith was not received by the English, since they have only been in what is now England for a mere 1,500 years.”

Experts now theorise that the stones used for Stonehenge were transported by the Neolithic civilisation to become a “monument to unification” in 3000BC.

Radiocarbon dating previously suggested the structure was “second hand” and its smaller bluestones stood for four centuries in another location after being quarried in South Wales.

Waun Mawn is now being tipped as the original monument because it lies next to quarries where Stonehenge’s smaller bluestones originate, its perimeter ditch has the same diameter and is also aligned with the midsummer solstice sunrise.

READ MORE: Stonehenge breakthrough: More sites across UK tipped to be found – ‘Everything is linked’

Archaeologists believe this could explain why the bluestones used at Stonehenge were brought from so far away, while most circles are usually constructed within a short distance of their quarries.

With only a few of the Stonehenge stones directly linked to Waun Mawn, the archaeologist believes monoliths from other stone circles could have been taken from Wales to form part of the new monument.

Prof Parker Pearson said: “With an estimated 80 bluestones put up on Salisbury Plain at Stonehenge and nearby Bluestonehenge, my guess is that Waun Mawn was not the only stone circle that contributed to Stonehenge.

“Maybe there are more in Preseli waiting to be found. Who knows? Someone will be lucky enough to find them.”

Their find could also challenge long-held views that our Neolithic ancestors transported the stones along a number of waterways.

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Prof Pearson’s discovery was made on the northern slopes of the Preseli Hills, “reigniting support for an alternative theory” that it would have been easier to travel by land.

The expert explained: “I think there’s a much more plausible possibility that they took those stones as far as they could by land.

“There’s a much more feasible land route from the north side, going around the Preselis, and then picking up the natural routeways that have been formed by the system of valleys in South Wales.

“It’s actually the route taken by the modern A40 today.”

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