My thanks to John Oswin for sending a copy of the new report entitled "Hautville's Quoit and other archaeological investigations at Stanton Drew, 2012." It's published by Bath and Camerton Archaeological Society in collaboration with Bath & North East Somerset Council. 65 pp, many illustrations, available as a PDF.
The site of the stone is approx NE of the stone circles at Stanton Drew, on the other side of the River Chew. It's on the side of the B3130 road. There may have been another stone in Stukely's day, but that is lost without trace. The full size of the stone is unknown, but one observer has recorded it as being 2.1 m long, 2 m wide and 1.6 m deep. It's essentially a large boulder lying in the ground, and there doesn't seem to be any evidence that it was ever a STANDING stone.
The bedrock here is Triassic mudstone, but Hautville's Quoit is made of a pale brown to grey sandstone, with distinguishable quartz grains and what appears to be a silica cement. There are also numerous small bivalve shells in the rock -- not yet identified. The surface is heavily pitted, as seen on the photos above. the jury is still out on whether these are natural or man-made.
The authors (John Richards, John Oswin and Vince Simmonds with a contribution by Lynn Amadio) seem to accept that the stone is an erratic in the sense that it is not local, and has clearly come here from somewhere else. Some geology is under way in an attempt to find the source, but at the moment the authors incline to the view that the sarsen-rich area of Fyfield Down is the most likely candidate.
Interestingly enough, they give no consideration at all to the idea that this might be a glacial erratic, although I have to say that that looks quite likely to me, admittedly on the basis of no field evidence which I can bring to bear. But the authors themselves draw attention to the "striations" on the surface of Hautville's Quoit and on the surface of some of the stones of the West Kennet Avenue:
I know nothing about these, and hesitate to suggest that they might be glacial in origin -- but I'll be grateful for any other observations that others (who know the area and its stones) might have..........
One other thing which is quite intriguing about the Stanton Drew area is the occurrence of an elongated mound in the field called Big Ground, near the recumbent stone. It has not been investigated properly -- but again the question arises -- man-made or natural?
There is clearly still a lot to be discovered at Stanton Drew......