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Dorset Cursus (North to Martins Down)


Visited 31/3/05. The long lump in the field is actually a very long long barrow, maybe a barrow of two parts, but long none the less. It is aligned with the (no longer visible) end of the Dorset Cursus. Towards the narrow corner of the field is another, ploughed down, long barrow that looks a bit like a tumulus. This too points at the cursus end-point, as does the barrow on the hillside to the south (in the neighbouring field).

I approached from the car park on the far eastern side of Martin Down nature reserve. Take the lane west from the centre of Martin village, and you eventually reach the car park. Head due west along a track and soon you will see what looks like the biggest long barrow you've ever seen on the NW horizon. It is, of course, nothing so ancient: its the 'backstop' of a rifle range in use during the second world war. However, head for it and climb to the top and you'll have a splendid view in all directions: in particular of the long barrows that point to the absent cursus end earthworks and then southwest across the undulating chalklands where the cursus once ran.

The massive modern earthwork is only a short distance south-east of the Martin Down car park thats just off the A354 (a safe place to park on this busy road). Theres also a Bronze Age enclosure on this part of Martin Down. Its a busy busy place, and could withstand many visits. I haven't even begun on the barrow cemetaries further down the cursus.
TreeHouse Posted by TreeHouse
1st April 2005ce

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