Thornborough Henges

The northern henge is closed at present. We are delighted to have secured the northern henge on behalf of the nation, ensuring that visitors can now enjoy all three Thornborough henges and that their stories and significance can be shared with everyone. A number of trees in the northern henge were damaged in recent storms so that henge is currently closed while we carry out works and get it ready for people to explore.

Free Entry

Open any reasonable daylight hours

Address:

West Tanfield, North Yorkshire, DL8 2RA

Before You Go

This unique and important cluster of Neolithic monuments lies on a raised plateau above the river Ure. Three huge circular henges – sometimes described as the ‘Stonehenge of the North’ – were built here about 4,500 years ago over an earlier monument.

They remained important into the early Bronze Age, when burial mounds were constructed nearby. Like other henges across Britain, the Thornborough henges are each surrounded by an earthen bank. The banks at Thornborough originally stood up to 4 metres high and were broken by two opposing entrances.

People have gathered, many traveling some distance, at the henges for ceremonies and funeral rituals for at least 2,000 years. The earthworks are thought to have been part of a ‘ritual landscape’ and form part of the most important concentration of Neolithic monuments in the North of England.

Click the link below to find out more about the history of the henges.

History of Thornborough Henges

Before You Go

Parking: A small amount of layby parking is available at the entrance gates to the Central and Southern Henge. What3words location: ///guards.remission.star (Grid Reference: SE 28635 79363).  Please park respectfully and safely.

Access: The Central and Southern henges are accessed through gates. Footpaths around the site are relatively flat, but uneven and grassy. The northern henge is closed whilst we carry out essential works.

Dogs: Dogs on short leads are welcome. Please ensure you clean up after them.

Please be aware: Farm livestock is likely to be present.

ConservationThere are currently conservation works happening at Thornborough Henges, so please take extra care when exploring the site. You may find when you visit that there are some parts of the site that are cordoned-off or closed for safety while works are carried out. Please do not climb up the banks of the henges.

Drone flying: English Heritage does not permit drone flying from or over sites in our care, except by contractors or partners undertaking flights for a specific purpose, who satisfy stringent CAA criteria, have the correct insurances and permissions, and are operating under controlled conditions. Please see our drone filming guidelines for more details, or email our Filming team.

Plan a Great Day Out

North Yorkshire has a fantastic array of historic places to explore, so why not add a couple more to your itinerary?

Less than half an hour away from Thornborough Henges and on the edge of the Yorkshire dales sits Middleham Castle, an extensive fortified palace which was once the childhood home of Richard III.

Head a little bit further into the Dales and you’ll reach Richmond. Discover impressive Richmond Castle and walk along the river to the beautiful Easby Abbey.

Or go towards the North York Moors and explore Mount Grace Priory, House and Gardens, just 30 minutes from the Henges, where you can treat yourself to a hot drink and a slice of cake in the café!

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