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Whitstable's version of Stonehenge? New stone circle installed at Duncan Down village green


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Exuding intrigue and mystery, stone circles have been a source of fascination for millennia.

And now, after months of planning, the UK's largest village green in Whitstable can lay claim to its own ancient monument. Well, not exactly.

There's no Stonehenge mystery as to how this stone circle was erected
There's no Stonehenge mystery as to how this stone circle was erected

Rather than being mysteriously erected way back in 3000 BC, the stone circle at Duncan Down was installed with the aid of some heavy machinery last Thursday.

Those behind the project say it was dreamed up as "symbol of permanence" for the new Gorrell Valley Nature Reserve, which incorporates both sides of the Gorrell Valley with Duncan Down to the north east.

Cllr Ashley Clark, a leading figure behind the stone circle's installation, said: "It has no religious or political symbolism - just a quiet place for reflection.

"The stones mark the four compass points and sunrise and sunset for the summer and winter solstices.

"Cost was minimal because the labour of the volunteers comes at no charge. The ground was like concrete so we had to wait for the rain to get digging.

Whitstable's new stone circle
Whitstable's new stone circle
The weathered stones look as though they have stood in place for years
The weathered stones look as though they have stood in place for years

"We selected that particular site as it has a view of the old windmill and the new offshore wind farm - so it has elements of past, present and future.

"And the theme that life is a partnership between those who were here, those who are here today and those yet to be born in the hope that they will continue to protect this space for nature and the peaceful enjoyment of local people."

A time capsule was also placed deep beneath the central stone, with the intention that intrigued archaeologists thousands of years down the line will have no need to speculate as to its origins.

The capsule contains one of the green flags awarded to Duncan Down over the past 15 years in recognition of its value as a public open space. It also contains news cuttings and park newsletters.

For Remembrance Sunday, Cllr Clark draped a flag over the centre stone. A number of people paying their respects gathered around the new installation, observing a two-minute silence and laying wreaths.

A Union Jack flag draped on the centre stone for Remembrance Sunday
A Union Jack flag draped on the centre stone for Remembrance Sunday

Read more: All the latest news from Whitstable

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