From Junction 13 of the M5 take the A419 towards Stroud. Just before entering Stroud follow the signs north for Randwick. Drive through Randwick and as you come out of the other side you will come to a bus stop / parking area for Standish Wood (N.T. site). Park here and walk along the old road (past the metal barrier) which runs through the woods. The Long Barrow / Round Barrows / Dyke can all be found along this path (all on the left).
Please note – there is no vehicle access from the west via the B4008 / Stroud Green – as we discovered!
Standish Wood is not the easiest place to find but the effort is well worthwhile.
The weather was glorious, the sky blue, sun shining and not a hint of wind. Fantastic for early October. Perhaps the last day of summer weather this year? (let’s hope not!)
Karen and the children went exploring in the woods while I went to do my own type of searching – ‘old stone’ hunting!
It was a very pleasant walk along the old, long disused road through the delightful woods. The floor of the woods was carpeted in leaves and the leaves on the trees were starting to turn to the tell tale colours of autumn – brown, red and yellow. The old drystone wall either side of the road had tumbled in many places and nature had started to take control – all adding to the experience. There were lots of families out and about enjoying the weather and (as you do) we smiled and said ‘hello’ as we passed each other.
Isn’t it funny how when you are in the countryside it is the ‘norm’ to say ‘hello’ to anyone you meet whereas in the city you would only get strange looks if you did the same thing? Another reason why I much prefer the countryside.
After about 5 minutes of walking along the road you will see a handy N.T. information board on your left. This gives details of the history of the Long Barrow / Round Barrows and Dyke. The Dyke is right next to the info board and you can’t fail to spot it. For the Long barrow keep walking down the road a little further and then head up the slope / through the trees to your left. Just head for the highest point.
You will very soon come out into an open ‘oasis’ with a very large Long Barrow sat in splendid isolation. This part of the wood had clearly been de-forested at some point and is now an open grassy area surrounded by woodland. Perhaps a scene our Mesolithic ancestors would have approved of as they waited to catch their prey? (Minus the Long Barrow of course!)
The Long Barrow is about 3m high x 50m long. Covered in grass and cut down tree stumps. Someone had recently made a fire on top of it. The woodland on the far side of the Barrow had been dug down and this gives the Barrow a much greater height from that side – perhaps 5m high.
The information board states that the Barrow was excavated in 1883 and that a skeleton had been found inside a cist. You can see where it had been dug into although no sign of the cist.
Unfortunately, because of the trees, there are no views to be had. However, a section of trees has been cut away opposite the information board and you get a good idea of how good the views would be without the trees.
This is a lovely (if a little awkward) place to visit and well worth the effort.
Posted by CARL
7th October 2013ce
Edited 7th October 2013ce