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Pre Historic Sites in Jurassic Wiltshire

One of The Wonders of the World, Stonehenge is located in Wiltshire, with a wealth of Long Barrows, Ancient Burial Sites, the 3 Circles of Stones at Avebury, The Ridgeway, probably the oldest ancient track in England, White horses and hill figures carved into the chalk downlands, some tracing back to the Celts who first came to Britain in 500BC. The Wiltshire limestone dates back 150 million years to the Jurassic era when much of central England was below sea level.

World Heritage UNESCO site Stonehenge, located in Wiltshire, is surrounded by a wealth of prehistoric sites, including Long Barrows and Ancient Burial Sites. The lesser known 3 Circles of Stones, Avebury is nearby, as is The Ridgeway, an ancient track, probably the oldest in England. 

White horses and hill figures can be seen carved into the chalk downlands in southern England, some of these tracing back to the Celts who first came to Britain in 500BC.

The Westbury White Horse is a hill figure on the escarpment of Salisbury Plain. Located on the edge of Bratton Downs and lying just below an Iron Age hill fort, it is the oldest white horse carved in Wiltshire. It was restored in 1778, an action which may have obliterated another horse that had occupied the same slope. A contemporary engraving from the 1760s appears to show a horse facing in the opposite direction that was rather smaller than the present figure. There is, however, no documentation or other evidence for the existence of a chalk horse at Westbury before 1742.
Often claimed to commemorate King Alfred's victory at the Battle of Ethandun in 878,  whilst not impossible, there is no trace of such a legend before the second half of the eighteenth century.
Since the late 19th century historians have mostly located the battle of Ethandun at Edington in Wiltshire, some two miles away from the white horse, but this theory is still open to debate.

Travel back in time 150 million years.....Discovered in Westbury, Wiltshire in 1994, Doris the Pliosaurus,  an internationally significant specimen as the world’s only example of a new species Pliosaurus carpenteri.  These giants were to be found in the Jurassic seas that covered the whole area. So huge that it took ten years to prepare all the fossils that were found.
Doris can now be seen in the Bristol Museum  https://exhibitions.bristolmuseums.org.uk/pliosaurus/

Steeple Ashton has a designated SSSI site dating back to the Jurassic age....

 The Steeple Ashton site comprises several fields approximately 1 kilometre south east of the village of Steeple Ashton. It is Britain’s richest known Jurassic coral limestone locality. This site has been famous since the earliest years of geological study for its very localised coral bed, the fauna of which was first recorded by John Aubrey as early as 1656, ploughed up in fields near the village. Forty six scleractinian species have been recorded from Steeple Ashton, in contrast to the normally impoverished species lists of other British Corallian sites. Dated as being of Glosense Zone age, the fauna can in its composition be equated with the rich mid-Oxfordian zonal assemblages of the Jura, but it has few affinities with other sites in Europe. This is a key Jurassic invertebrate locality with considerable stratigraphic, palaeogeographic and palaeoecological interest.
https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/PDFsForWeb/Citation/2000307.pdf

Book a stay at Coachmans Cottage to explore the area.

Thanks to VisitWiltshire for the image.

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