The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Sherrington Motte

Artificial Mound


Moss recently posted a link to Jim Leary’s paper on the Marlborough Mound. Towards the end of it there is a section discussing ‘other potential prehistoric mounds in Wessex and beyond’. Sherrington motte is picked out as very promising, ‘given its low lying setting next to the river Wylye and with springs nearby [it] is surely a contender for a Late Neolithic mound.’ So today, encouraged by what feels like this year’s first view of the sun, my sister and I made a visit.

We parked just opposite the Codford turnoff on the A36 and walked down the narrow lane towards the River Wylye. As you may have noticed, it’s been raining a bit recently, and the ditch along the side of the path was full and running swiftly. Running over the chalk the water is so beautifully clear. Growing up amidst quite different geology, I always think chalk streams are rather magical. The Wylye always strikes me as rather magical, weaving about so cleanly in its valley.

After you nip across the railway line, the footpath is obvious and bends round a couple of amazing houses. One had swans lounging in the garden - the river was up an absurd amount. This became very obvious when the two of us had to cross a footbridge across it, barely above the water. Here the river wasn’t clear at all, it was murky and speeding rather scarily.

To see the mound, go into the churchyard. It’s on the far side of a seemingly still ‘moat’ though with restricted access it’s hard to see how the water connects up with all the rest round here, but the river's very close. I imagine there’s a little more water in the moat than usual at the moment. Leary’s article says the mound is 48m in diameter and 5.5m high, adding encouragingly that ‘mottes are quite rare in Wiltshire.'

I’m sure you would also like the painted Jacobean wall texts in the dinky church of St. Cosmas and St. Damian immediately opposite, while you're there. And back at Codford St. Peter there is a superb bit of Saxon stone carving. It was a very nice stroll. There are some more photos of the mound on Paul Remfry’s website . He says the moat is full of water all year round (which at least in the present would be in contrast to the situation at Silbury and Marlborough).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
1st February 2014ce
Edited 5th October 2016ce

Comments (4)

Excellent, so nice to read some fieldnotes from you - and to hear about some sunshine. I wonder how many Herefordshire mottes are contenders? thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
1st February 2014ce
How encouraging. It was a nice spot. The article does mention the one at Tenbury Wells (though that's just into Worcestershire). I'll see if I can drop by some time... Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
2nd February 2014ce
Fascinating Rhiannon thank you, think with all this rain we must get drawn to water, (wrote about the Wellow Brook the other day which has the same clear beauty as the Wylye) also was only thinking about The Great Bore and missing its tidal romp down the Severn. Been to the Codford church years ago, and just looked at the pagan Saxon shaft, my mind floats a 'green man' as well but I can't see one.
Abson church near Pucklechurch has Saxon pieces embedded in the outer walls if you are ever down that way...
moss Posted by moss
2nd February 2014ce
I know Tenbury, it's 7 miles from where I lived as a child. My dad bought some ferrets from the market there once (he was supposed to be looking for a birthday present for my gran). It's that kind of place. I've probably been to see that motte at some point. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
2nd February 2014ce
You must be logged in to add a comment