Wheel with grapeshot, Avebury Hill, Wiltshire
This formation appeared in wheat on the night of 5th\6th June. It is easily visible from Avebury Avenue and from the A4 to West Kennet from Silbury Hill. It is very similar to the 'spoked circle' component of the 1991 Barbury Castle formation.
The formation consists of a large ring (approx 18 metres) with six curved 'spokes' leading inwards to the centre. The ring has a clockwise lay. The spokes themselves 'flow' in to the centre, where they meet and spiral together, creating a kind of whirlpool effect. The crop itself is severely bent (with some stalks bent in different directions at each node). There are many broken stalks in the centre.
There are also two grapeshot circles, side by side and resembling a horizontal '8', at the upper mid-right of the formation. A narrow wall of crop separates these from each other and from the ring. These are also spiralled clockwise, and contain many broken stalks but few bent ones.
There are also a number of nodally-bent stalks along the tram-lines leading into the formation, but these are not all bent in the same direction.
Access is very easy, from a path leading up from the bottom of Avebury Avenue. It is also on National Trust land (according to a local farmer I spoke to), so entry should pose no problem.
We visited this formation on 6th June at approx. 7.30pm. Nobody at the Barge Inn that night seemed to know much about it, so unless somebody else visited it during the day, we were the first in. It appeared on the same night as the nearby Beckhampton formation. It is also only a few minutes walk (and on the other side of the hill) from the 1st June formation at the junction to the A4 and East Kennet road.
©1998 Darren Francis
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