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

Priddy Circles



Southernmost of the four Priddy circles. Excavations in 1956-9 in the NW quadrant revealed that the bank had a stone core with a ring of post-holes on each side. The posts had been of 8" diameter and about 10ft high with stakes between them, apparently erected prior to the ditch, whose upcast was added to the bank probably leaving the posts projecting at least 4-6ft above the earth top. A causewayed entrance was proved for the circle in the NNE sector. Central area was devoid of any structure and no finds were made. {1}

Belongs to the secondary Neolithic and fall into the Henge group of monuments, class 2. Banks average 1m high and the ditch is 0.4m deep. {4}

Bank at best 7m wide and nearly 2m high, interior area flat and about 1m above the surrounding fields. Divided ownership marked by stone wall running NNW-SSE. Part on the W has never been ploughed but is somewhat cut about by old mine workings. On the S the bank is not well preserved. On the E the interior of the circle has been ploughed at some time but the bank is untouched. Some evidence of the stone construction of the bank is visible at some points. Few thorn and gorse bushes on the E side. {5}

Ploughing of centre and surrounding area but not bank in 1984-5. {6}

The interior of the E part of the circle has been ploughed again this spring. One quite large stone has been disinterred and added to the bank. {7}

Many of the surface depressions in and around the Priddy Circles are natural sinkholes, not mine workings as had been assumed. Unsatisfactory ground conditions (the ground remained liable to subsidence) may have been one of the factors that led to the abandonment of the whole ceremonial site before the circles were completed. {10}

Scheduling revised with new national number on 31.1.1997 (was Somerset 119). {11}

See PRN 90072 for inconclusive geophysical survey and discussion. {12}

The monument is basically stable under pasture but there are areas of scrub, nettle, bracken etc growth on the banks. {13}

See PRNs 24043, 24045, 24046 for the other three Priddy circles. {14}

1 Excavation report - PUBSS Taylor, C and Tratman, E.K 1956 "The Priddy Circles..." vol 8(1), 7-17
2 Mention - PUBSS 1960 vol 9(2), 64
3 Excavation report - PUBSS Tratman, E.K 1966 "The Priddy...Henge Monument" vol 11(2), 97-125
4 Detailed records - Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division 1966 ST55SW4 SCPD
5 Detailed records - HBMC Field Monument Wardens report SCPD
6 Personal communication - Dennison, E SCPD 12.09.85
7 Detailed records - HBMC Field Monument Wardens report SCPD
8 Aerial photographs - Slide SCPD 2.040.0004
9 Map - HBMC Field Monument Wardens report SCPD
10 Detailed records - Stanton, WI "Natural sinkholes...Priddy Circles..." PUBSS 17(3) (1986), 355-8
11 Correspondence - EH to SCC (7.2.1997) in HER files
12 Personal communication - Webster, CJ SMRO (14/12/1998)
13 Site visit report - Graham, A. EH field Monument Warden (25/7/2000) report in HER files
14 Personal communication - Matthew Nicholas, SCC (7/7/2003)

Record created by:
Ed Dennison in September 1985

© Copyright Somerset County Council 2003

With thanks to the Somerset Museums Service for the link to this information.
jimit Posted by jimit
14th November 2003ce

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