Henge Capital of Britain

An image of the three henges of Thornborough, from the air. To illustrate the front cover of Henge Capital of Britain on brigantesnation.com

Henge Capital of Britain

The story of the Vale of Mowbray in ancient times is a remarkable one, having passed almost unnoticed by archaeologists and the public alike until very recently. It now appears that the 5,000-year-old monuments within the vale create one of the most important sacred sites in Britain – comparable to Stonehenge or Avebury. Was this the MOST important ritual site in Britain?

Within this book, the author sets out to examine the ancient monuments forming a complex that sits largely within the Vale of Mowbray in North Yorkshire. Explaining along the way the likely purpose of the monuments and contrasting them with some of the better-known ancient monument complexes within Britain, the book is well illustrated and provides a fascinating insight into the spiritual life of our most ancient ancestors that all can understand.

The volume presents a powerful case for the re-evaluation of our current understanding of these ancient places and their impact on the landscape. These monuments in Yorkshire as constitute a more important religious centre than most, if not all, others within the British Isles.

Image: Blois Hall burial mound, George Chaplin.

Cover image: Thornborough Henges by Dae Sasitorn.

Image: Northern Henge, Thornborough, Crispian Oates.

For years, I have been fascinated by the prehistoric earthworks of Britain. These structures go unnoticed by most people, yet they tell a remarkable tale of the ingenuity of the people of Britain thousands of years ago. In this book, I hope to bring alive the story of the largest ancient site in Britain.

The Thornborough Henges are the focal point of the largest ancient ritual complex in Britain, one that stretches for at least twenty miles and sits largely within the Vale of Mowbray, in North Yorkshire. This is the area that has come to be known as the “Sacred Vale” – our largest religious centre of 5,000 years ago.

Remarkably, the monuments that form the Sacred Vale have passed by unrecognised by modern people as being so important. As a result, they have been neglected while lesser monuments have been celebrated and are recognised as having an important story to tell.

I have written this book so that ordinary people can see for themselves just how important these monuments are. It is my hope that people recognise that even today, we do not understand a great deal about our past. If places like the Sacred Vale can lie hidden and unvalued then it is very likely that other important places may also be hiding. We must all realise that if we do not value our heritage, we will lose sites like these.

I am of course not alone in realising the importance of the Sacred Vale. I owe a great debt of thanks to Dr Jan Harding for bringing this to my attention and for providing such an important free resource as Newcastle Universities Thornborough website.

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