|Brighstone Down encompasses quite a large area and also includes Gallibury Hump which sits just outside the forested area. The Tennyson Trail passes through the middle of it and it's quite accessible by foot from Brighstone village to the South or from the road connecting Brighstone and Calbourne. This area of Downland forms the spine of the Island running east to west and is quite rich in tumuli of varying sizes and states of decay. Of the barrows in the woodland we really only encountered about three and it was quite a surprise to find quite large barrows hidden in the depths of the forest. These were situated just off a track which runs up from the reservoir (bounded by the Tennyson and Worsley Trails) on the southern edge of the forest. The map indicates three barrows near the bend and I was anticipating Bell barrows. As far as I could tell there were only two quite handsome barrows at this position about 2m high and 5-6m wide, but strangely there was a large but quite faint circle comprising a shallow ditch surrounded by a small bank about 7-9m in diameter. This either had to be a small enclosure (there are others not far away) or a reasonably large disc barrow! This was quite difficult to make out properly due to the density of the undergrowth and poor light on an overcast day, but if it does turn out to be a disc barrow then it's possibly the only one on the island as far as I can tell. Having researched I can find no mention of this anywhere else. If anyone has any more information I'd be glad to hear it.
Posted by A R Cane
18th September 2011ce