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The crop formation which appeared at The Thornborough Henges, Yorkshire, this year, is considered by some to have been calling attention to the site’s current plight – it is threatened by quarrying plans. A recent UK TV programme has put forward the idea that the line of three henges represent the belt of Orion (as some believe the Giza pyramids do), and a growing campaign has been mounted to save this important site…

Palden Jenkins has sent out the following plea:


“The Thornborough Henges, near Ripon in Yorkshire, are a unique complex of three massive bronze-age circular monuments. One of the largest earth moving operations in pre-historic Europe, the henges are comparable to Westminster, York and Canterbury Cathedrals being built in a single location. For such a project to have been undertaken indicates that, at the very least, Thornborough was the spiritual capital of Northern England. In use for over a millennium, this 5000 year-old site is now under threat of ruin.

Tarmac propose to carry out bulk gravel extraction right up to the perimeter of the henges. This will destroy areas of known archaeology, including the ceremonial causeway that served as the entrance to the southern-most henge. Post hole alignments, that pepper the surrounding landscape, and may hold the key to Thornborough’s astronomical significance will be lost forever. The impact of the quarrying will effectively create henge islands, a hideous disfigurement of this ritual landscape.

The movement to save the Thornborough Henges has already begun, with 98% of local people signing a petition organised by the 'Friends of Thornborough' campaign group. These determined locals are now appealing to anyone who feels passionately about defending this spiritual landscape to join their fight. To learn more about the Henges and the proposed quarry plans, visit their website:

Better still, make a pilgrimage to this wonderful and mysterious site. The local area also boasts three giant 5000 year old monoliths, known as the 'Devils Arrows', at the nearby town of Boroughbridge. A more recent addition to the landscape is a 228ft high white horse, created from limestone in 1857, on the hillside at Kilburn. In June 2003 a rare northern crop circle appeared in a field immediately adjacent to the central henge. A sign perhaps?”


As far as the Thornborough crop circle goes, Derrick Hunt adds:


The programme ‘Time Flyers’, BBC2, 19:30, 4/11/03, had a brief aerial shot of the harvested remains of the crop circle at Thornborough, Yorkshire. "Made by locals" was the annoyingly dismissive passing comment on the crop circle in an otherwise informative program on the Thornborough Henges.

The contrast between the lengthy enthusiastic commentary and interest in the ancient but simple circular henges, and the briefest of dismissive commentary on a crop circle of complex geometrical form was telling!


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