Neolithic stone circle discovered at Castilly Henge near Bodmin is second of its kind in Cornwall

Archeologists have discovered a stone circle at Castilly Henge
It is thought the henge was used for rituals and a theatre during the Middle Ages Credit: PA Images

Archaeologists have discovered new evidence of a prehistoric stone circle at Castilly Henge near Bodmin.

Volunteers cleared the ancient ritual site of bracken and scrub so the team of experts could map the stone circle using modern surveying techniques.

They found at least seven regularly spaced pits forming a crooked horsehoe shape, making the site one of just two in Cornwall.

Volunteers helped clear Castilly Henge from bracken, enabling archeologists to discover the hidden stone circle Credit: PA Images

A henge refers to a circular or oval-shaped bank with a ditch around the inner edge built during the Neolithic period between 3,000 and 2,500 BC.

The researchers believe the pits at Castilly may once have formed a complete ring, could have been used for gatherings and rituals.

There is evidence to suggest that Castilly Henge was used as a theatre in the Middle Ages, and a gun emplacement during the English Civil War.

The research at Castilly Henge only began in 2021 when it was included in a monument management scheme by Historic England.

Ann Preston-Jones, from Historic England, said: “The research at Castilly Henge has given us a deeper understanding of the complexity of this site and its importance to Cornish history over thousands of years.

"It will help us make decisions about the way the monument is managed and presented, so that it can be enjoyed by generations to come.”

Volunteers led by the Cornwall Archaeology Unit cleared the site of vegetation which was had been threatening features of the site.

Peter Dudley, from Cornwall Archaeological Unit, said: “Over the winter, 13 people gave 111 hours of their time and now the monument is looking so much better.

“The project has also re-fenced the field and the farmer is happy to start grazing again, improving the long-term management of this amazing archaeological site.”