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

Gorsey Bigbury



Class 1 henge monument of single causeway type consisting of a circular rock-cut ditch with an external rampart of earth and stones, enclosing a flat central area without any form of upright. The causeway is to the N. The ditch varied in width from 12ft to 21ft and 4-9ft deep. The NE and SW segments yielded evidence of Beaker occupation. This was separated from the ditch bottom by a barren yellow clay silt layer. In two places a platform of closely packed stones was interposed between the clay and beaker deposit, which consisted of dirty rubble, charcoal, hearths etc. Finds from this deposit included 4,000 flint flakes and implements, pottery of A-C beaker type (including rusticated ware) representing at least 100+ beakers, a few sherds of Neolithic "B" ware and large quantities of animal bones, mainly domestic. No evidence was found of stone or post holes, walling or any other structural remains. Two hypotheses can be suggested - the monument may be attributed to the grooved ware or "B" beaker group, or the A.C. beaker folk for whom the ditch held no significance. {1}

The beaker burial and occupation deposits had radio-carbon date centring on 1900-1700bc. {6}

The henge is set on a gentle E-facing slope to the W of Long Wood, in improved pasture. Condition is generally good except for three hawthorn trees growing in the ditch. {7}

The majority of the archives and finds were destroyed in the Second World War. {8}

The monument is in a generally satisfactory condition with no evidence of damage by grazing cattle. {9}

1 Excavation report - PUBSS Jones, S.J 1935 "...Excavations at Gorsey Bigbury..." vol. 4(3), 174-8
2 Excavation report - PUBSS Jones, S.J et al 1938 "The Excavation of Gorsey Bigbury" vol. 5(1), 3-56
3 Excavation report - PUBSS ApSimon A.M 1951 "Gorsey Bigbury: The Second Report" vol. 6(2), 186-200
4 Detailed records - Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division 1966 ST45NE15 SCPD
5 Excavation report - PUBSS Tratman, E.K 1966 "Gorsey Bigbury...Third Report" vol. 11, 25-30
6 Description - PUBSS ApSimon A.M 1976 "Gorsey" vol. 14(2), 155-183
7 Personal communication - Burrow, I SCPD (13.09.82)
8 Archive - UBSSM
9 Detailed records - Field Monument Warden's report (22.4.1998) in HER files

Record created by:
Ian Burrow in September 1982

© Copyright Somerset County Council 2003

(Edited) With thanks to the Somerset Museums Service for their help.
jimit Posted by jimit
29th November 2003ce

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