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

Churn Knob

Barrow / Cairn Cemetery


The lovely Karen and I visited on a wild and stormy Friday ("They call it Stormy Friday . . . "), a bracing gale force 5 wind whooshing across the wide open landscapes as we climbed towards this beautiful mound.

Churn Knob is a very appealing and solid barrow of considerable size, with a definite air of staunchness about it as it rises up from the centre of a chalk-chipped field. It commands stunning views northwards across Oxfordshire, taking in Wittenham Clumps and Blewburton Hill, whilst southwards it looks to the line of the Ridgeway.

Pitted with animal holes, sporting a hawthorn bush and attractive elder, it still keeps its integrity despite the outrageous defilement visited upon it by zealots unknown. The addition of an 18 foot high cross and scaffold pole topped with the Star of David made us aghast and appalled, and I had a bloody good go at ripping down the scaffold pole. Would have succeeded, too, but was concerned that in doing so, I would have torn up a large portion of the mound, due to some damnfool seeing fit to embed the pole in concrete. Not wanting to damage the mound further, I left it, but at much more slanty angle.

I suggested to Karen that presumably this means I can now go into churches around the county and start daubing up pagan symbols, and leaving such offerings as would be fit. Frankly, if I ever caught the evangalist who erected the cross, I'd love to string them up on their hideous edifice. There's churchyards for that class of fundementalism.

Overall, though, I liked it very much, and the wild weather suited it tremendously - 5,000 years on, and the Goddess still rocks!
treaclechops Posted by treaclechops
31st August 2003ce

Comments (1)

The pole with 'Star of David' has nothing to do with Judaism - it is a marker to show that the monument should not be dug into, although I have no idea why it is there on Churn Knob. There are plenty of these ugly markers on barrows and hillforts around the edge of the military land on Salisbury Plain (presumably within the Ranges too, but I haven't been there) - definitely seen them on Scratchbury Camp and the adjoining Middle Hill barrow near Warminster. Some have an additional helpful 'no digging' sticker (a spade in a red circle with a line through it). The pole stills stands on top of Churn Knob, but the cross is now recumbent next to it. TreeHouse Posted by TreeHouse
24th January 2011ce
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