|The standing stones on the north face of the down facing Sols Hill were reputedly accompanied by a stone avenue. Some stones remain in a rough square formation but their origin/purpose is unknown. Nearby are Romano British field sytems. The site has been so disrupted by Roman/Medieval/C18th quarrying etc it's difficult to make any sense of it.
I understand the 'caves' were actually created through mining and are now railed off to protect bat populations. Apparently a modern hermit used to live in one of them (just south of the tv mast) and collect cameras from the local camera shops in the city. When he died many were recovered from his cave - probably the most recent ritual activity to take place here...
Bronze Age burial mounds on either side of the summit imply that the hillside was clear of forest in antiquity.
Walk down Sham Castle Lane and you can here water from the springs coursing under the ground. This lane was the route taken to transport stone from the quarry for the building of Roman Bath. When you come to a crossroads you're on the site where the stone carving of the 3 Sulevae (3 mothers) was discovered - Romano British but maybe marking an ancient shrine to Sul?
Towards Claverton Down there was a field with more standing stones that were unf cleared by a farmer in the last century, before NT acquired the site.
The present stones on C Down were put up for a race course in C18th and by the present day pony club. In the C19th a large oval enclosure thought to be Bronze Age was also discovered, now marked by a very faint rampart.
Posted by Bodvoc
7th August 2004ce
Edited 12th February 2008ce