The third and final connection between Stonehenge and Old Wardour Castle is a measurement.
The outer diameter of the Sarsen Circle at Stonehenge is much the same as the diameter of the circle that fits within the larger hexagon of the keep at Old Wardour Castle. The diagram below shows the position of the Sarsen Stones when superimposed upon the plan of the castle.
The diagram also shows the relative position of the Aubrey Ring of pits and the relative position of the Heel Stone. The Heel Stone location corresponds to the steps and bank that can be found at the castle, but the date of construction of these features is unknown so cannot be taken into account.
Returning briefly to the geometrical design of the castle, the diagram shows the relationship between the sizes of the hexagons. The inner courtyard at 60 feet, the keep at 120 feet and the curtain wall at 480 feet, a ratio of 1:2:8.
1. On the line of hill forts.
Although Old Wardour Castle was built on a line of hill forts, I have to wonder if the castle's builder necessarily knew about the line. As the castle is about fifteen miles from Stonehenge, I think it more likely that there was either a hill-fort or stone circle at the top of the hill. There is a path that leads from the castle (through a strange small tunnel) to the top of the hill. The area at the top of the hill is now part of a farm and any traces of an ancient construction may have been ploughed over. I've looked at aerial photographs of the hill but cannot see any crop marks.
Although Old Wardour is aligned slightly differently to Stonehenge it is still pointing to the north-east where the sun rises at the time of the summer solstice.
In view of the above, it appears that the architect may have surveyed Stonehenge and used the measurements to plan Old Wardour Castle.
I cannot say for sure if the construction of Old Wardour Castle is based upon Stonehenge, but the connections are striking. I have published this information in the hope that someone out there can prove the validity of the connections one way or the other.
Mark Needham (June 2015)
My thanks to English Heritage who are the guardians of Old Wardour Castle and who kindly allowed measurements of the castle to be taken. They requested that I state they do not endorse the findings made on these pages.
Thanks also to Geoff Bath who helped with this investigation.