The two stones that now make up the Cove in Avebury, Wiltshire England
©
Moss
 
On the way to Stonehenge at the end of last year, to see the newly-opened Visitor Centre there, two of our members stopped off briefly at Avebury. There was only time for a quick walk over to the Cove where they took some photos. It was about 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Bright, low sunlight raked across the stones from the west. Later, when they looked at their photos, there was something on one of the Cove stones that they hadn’t noticed before. On the stone on the right in the photo above there’s a circular feature resembling a millstone. The feature is probably natural (or natural and perhaps slightly enhanced) but if it was visible when the stone was in its natural recumbent position (before being erected as a standing stone) it might have been even more distinctive. Was the stone selected for both its size, shape and its ‘millstone’ feature? Perhaps the stone was selected for all three characteristics and also erected in its present position to take advantage of the low winter sunlight which might have helped enhance this curios circular feature.
 
 
 
Detail of the ‘millstone’ feature on one of the Cove stones
©
Moss
 
We know that some stones were selected for their distinctive appearances (the stone at the entrance to the Stoney Littleton long barrow in Somerset for example has a large fossilised ammonite in it) and perhaps the circular feature on the Avebury Cove stone is another example.
 
 
 
Entrance to the Stoney Littleton long barrow, Somerset England
©
The Heritage Trust
 
 
 
Detail of the Stoney Littleton entrance stone showing the fossilised ammonite
©
The Heritage Trust