‘It all henged on one more sale!’ estate agency reveals as unusual deal completes

This kind of sale comes up once a millenium and Knight Frank has bagged it following the sale of a 3,000-year-old henge, bought by English Heritage.


Thornborough Henges in North Yorkshire is now finally reunited with English Heritage thanks to Knight Frank selling the third and final northern henge on behalf of a private landowner.

Often referred to as “the Stonehenge of the North”, the Thornborough Henges in North Yorkshir are three large circular earthworks (known as ‘henges’), each more than 200m in diameter, across a seven-acre plot. Dating from 3000 to 2500 BC, the henges are of outstanding national significance, a place where people gathered for ceremonies for at least 2,000 years.

Currently under woodland, the northern henge is the best preserved of the three – and one of the best-preserved henges in the country – and gives a strong impression of how the others would have appeared originally.


The purchase, which places all parts of the monument under one single owner for the first time in at least 1,500 years, was supported by a £150,000 donation from The National Heritage Memorial Fund as well as from Jamie Ritblat and family, and The SCS Trust.

At the start of 2023, the central and southern henges plus their surrounding lands were gifted to Historic England and English Heritage by the construction companies Tarmac and Lightwater Holdings.

The acquisition not only guarantees public access in perpetuity to the entirety of the Neolithic monument, but allows English Heritage to share with visitors the full story of Thornborough Henges so that they can better understand the henges’ significance and scale as well as how each individual henge relates to the others.

Rishi’s henge

Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak MP (pictured left), whose Richmond (Yorks) parliamentary constituency includes Thornborough Henges, said: “Having recently visited the henges site, I know how truly remarkable the totality of the monument is. Bringing all three henges together in the ownership of English Heritage ensures their preservation and enhances the charity’s ability to tell the story of the earthworks and their importance to the pre-history of our nation.”

Claire Whitfield, Partner in Knight Frank’s Rural Asset Management team commented: “I am delighted that we have been able to facilitate the sale of the final piece of the Thornborough Henges, on behalf of our client, the local landowner.

“Reuniting this remarkable ancient monument under single ownership is tremendously gratifying. The northern henge is exceptionally well-preserved and thanks to the funders who have made this possible, will be an outstanding addition to the nation’s heritage assets now cared for by English Heritage.”

The northern henge is currently closed to the public as English Heritage gets it ready for visitors.

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