Thornborough Cursus, North Yorkshire

The Northern Antiquarian

Cursus Monument:  OS Grid Reference – SE 285 794

Archaeology & History

In the midst of the great henge monuments at Thornborough — specifically, the central henge — archaeologist Ian Longworth (1965) said there „was built …a still earlier structure known as a cursus.“  This giant monument was one of the earlier such sites located in Britain.  Longworth continued, saying:

„This was a ceremonial avenue, running for nearly a mile in a northeast / southwesterly direction.  The avenue is defined by ditches 144 feet apart with a bank running along the inside of each ditch.  The ditches are now completely filled with plough soil and, as with other cursus monuments in the county, were discovered from the air as two dark lines in the cereal crop… Probably used for ritual ceremonies, no clues remain to show what actually took place.“

This cursus runs almost at right angles to the alignment…

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