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

Marden Henge (and Hatfield Barrow)



I like approaching sites on foot, so I parked in the village and walked. Marden is special amongst its similarly monumental friends (Avebury, Durrington..) because it uses a stream as part of its boundary; its banks and ditches only surround it on three sides. Crossing the stream and entering the henge I was fairly disgusted to see the meadow by the stream had been sold and houses are to be built on it. Surely a nationally important place should deserve more protection?

It's a further walk than you think to the banks on the far side of the monument. I felt pretty confused about their layout to start with. But when you get there look for the stile hidden up in the hedge (almost opposite the big trees, where there is a tiny spot on the road you could park in) - that's where you'll find the plan on the EH board that's in Earthstepper's photo. I then realised what a tiny proportion of the place is under the EHs guardianship.

Now I could see where the Silburyesque Hatfield Barrow had been. It was too cold to keep still, so I jumped back down onto the road and started to walk back towards the spot. A car heading for the village slowed next to me. "Can you tell me how far Marden is?" a coiffeured woman enquired. I restrained any sarcastic remarks. As she drove on I reflected on how the huge henge could go unnoticed in the modern world. I thought on: the Hatfield Barrow itself would have been a locally famous enigma, something in local people's consciousness for literally thousands of years. I felt really outraged. How could somebody just come along and ruin it?

I stood there mentally grasping for clues, trying desperately to understand what the mound would have been like. I probably looked bizarre: a shivering figure staring at an empty field. As the wind dropped and the sun finally appeared I got something of it in my mind. It loomed up in front of me. So ok, to some Marden isn't more than a few low banks and an empty meadow. But to me, just to visit the place and exercise my imagination, it was well worth it. I felt really pleased to have been in the same place where this huge mound once stood.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
7th January 2004ce
Edited 28th October 2007ce

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