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Savernake Temple

Ancient Temple


Details of temple on Pastscape

A possible temple complex of late Iron Age date visible as an earthwork (centred at SU 22736715) was mapped and interpreted from lidar derived imagery as part of the Savernake Forest NMP project. The feature appears as a multi-vallate sub-rectangular enclosure with an internal area of c96m by 75m. There are two ditches, with at least two banks, possibly a third, with a berm as well covering an area of nearly 30m. The only apparently clear entrance is on the eastern side, but this also coincides with a forest track. The interpretation of the site as a temple complex is based on the complexity of its earthworks; the date is based on its relationship with the Roman road described in record LINEAR517 and SU26NW 244. It appears from the lidar derived imagery as though the enclosure is cut by the Roman road on its western side, which places the enclosure earlier than the road. (1)
The site has also been subject to a summary field visit where the relationship was confirmed, but it should be noted that the area has dense undergrowth and the site where the precise relationship between the two features would be most clear has suffered from later disturbance. (2)
Since the course of the road was used in part for the Marlborough to Bedwyn road in medieval and post medieval times there is a slight possibility that the slighting of the enclosure dates to some later re-use and revision, which would mean that the enclosure could be a much later park or garden feature. The documentary evidence, however suggests that the former Marlborough road diverges from that of the Roman road further south, possibly related to the feature described in record SU26NW ??. (3)
Chance Posted by Chance
25th July 2015ce

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