Public’s chance to view henge site of ‘national importance’

AN ARCHAEOLOGY group is inviting members of the public to view a 5,000-year-old henge site as it finishes its summer dig.

More than 50 members of the Norton Community Archaeology Group have spent five weeks at Stapleton’s Field in Norton, a site which they say is “of national importance”.

Now the public will have a chance to see the henge, believed to date back to around 3,000 BC, for themselves when the group holds a free open day at 2pm tomorrow (Saturday), before the dig ends the following day.

Finds so far include a large post hole at the centre of the henge, a number of bones and the remains of ancient feasting, as well as signs that the central area of the henge was used for rituals and meetings, before being modernised around 4,000 years ago.

Chris Hobbs, chairman of the group, which was set up five years ago by volunteers with a keen interest in the past, said: “It’s an opportunity to see a site that about 5,000 years ago was one of the first places in the area to be inhabited.

“Nearly all our members started out with no skills so this is truly something. Who would have believed we’d have the chance to dig something of national importance. This is the root of our heritage in Letchworth.”

Following an article in The Comet last month about eight-year-old James Naufal-Power discovering a 4,000-year-old arrowhead, the St Christopher School pupil has been invited along to the group’s dig.

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Mr Hobbs added: “He’s been there every Friday and has absolutely loved it. This is what the group is about, involving the community.”

Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews, archaeology officer for North Herts District Council and dig director, said: “The prehistoric landscape of this area is quite amazing. We have a largely complete sequence of habitation in the ‘Baldock Bowl’ from the fourth millennium BC to the Roman conquest.”

To view the dig and hear of the discoveries as part of the open day, which will include refreshments, email