Friday, 2 March 2012

Thornborough Henge

We often spend a peaceful half hour at the Nosterfield Local Nature Reserve. This is partly because it is so handy - we can just pop out at lunch time for a quick walk or drive over on a balmy summer evening to watch the avocets, curlew sandpipers, whinchats, ruff, cranes and pink footed geese.

Only a duck, I'm afraid!

When you're there you're always conscious of the nearby presence of Thornborough Henge and its great antiquity. There is really something very special about the atmosphere of the whole area and when we first arrived we were quite suprised to find such a site on our doorstep, relatively unsign-posted and inaccessible. Indeed you could drive around the area and not realise what a national treasure you were missing. English Heritage have designated the site (which dates from the Neolithic and the Bronze Ages - at least 4,000BC) the most significant prehistoric site between Stone Henge and the Orkneys; it is certainly a great deal larger than Stonehenge with its six henges. Given its size one wonders just what it was built for and from how far away people came to worship and  meet there. Clearly it was of great importance.

Now a number of local people have got together to do something about the site's state of neglect. The Thornborough Henge Heritage Trust has been formed to promote the protection and conservation of the henges and to enable archaeological research to be done. The Trust hopes to be able to raise public awareness of the significance of the henges for early British history and to promote education and understanding.

To find out more including how you can help, go to

To read about the birds at Nosterfield Local Nature Reserve which is managed by the Lower Ure Conservation Trust and is the first Nature Reserve in Hambleton District, go to

For the Lower Ure Conservation Trust

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