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50 51 The Stonehenge Cursus is a twomile long rectangular earthen ditched enclosure that lies about half a mile north of Stonehenge itself. The antiquary William Stukeley first noticed it in 1723 when he interpreted it as a Roman racecourse, hence cursus. The Stonehenge Cursus links a group of round barrows at its western end to a long barrow at its eastern extremity. Alfred Watkins first noted that a line drawn along the straight northern ditch passes through the Cuckoo Stone to the east, a standing stone not marked on the 150 000 map. Excavations by Mrs Cunnington, in the 1930s, revealed the circular henge monument now called Woodhenge, through which to his delight Watkins was able to extend his ley. This alignment was later given archaeological credence in 1947. The links between straightness and the dead at the Stonehenge Cursus are very persuasive and indeed the Woodhenge excavations revealed the body of a child who had apparently been sacrificed and buried at the centre of the henge. The line can be extended further east to where it strikes the horizon at Beacon Hill, thus finding its Watkinsian terminal point. Opposite The enigmatic and almost obliterated Stonehenge cursus points to both the Cuckoo Stone and the centre of Woodhenge. ThE STONEhENgE CurSuS lEy a prehistoric funeral route
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