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


Causewayed Enclosure


Crofton's probably better known today for its beam engines and pumping station on the Kennet and Avon canal. But in the Neolithic it was a place with quite different significance. In 1976 the traces of causewayed-enclosure-style interrupted ditches were spotted on an aerial photograph. They completely encompass the village! It's possible you might be able to see something of them in the S/W stretches? The type of snail shells excavated tell us that at the time it was built the area was a clearing in woodland. The flints found confirm its Neolithic origins.

Apparently it has the largest? area of any known causewayed enclosure (600m across), and is also unusual in that unlike other causewayed enclosures - say, Knap Hill - it was built in a valley. Not only this, the River Dunn (now canalised) actually rose 'in the vicinity' of the enclosure, then flowing northeast into the Kennet at Hungerford. [This can't help but remind me of the proximity of the stream at Marden, but that's a henge and probably quite a different matter].

Another interesting point is that a Roman - or should that be, pre-Roman - road goes straight through the enclosure's centre. Another road crosses through at right angles (Avebury style). And following the southeasterly road a short distance brings us directly to a round barrow - surely confirmation of the roads pre-roman credentials?

I'm sure there will be little if anything to see at Crofton. But I hope people won't mind me mentioning it. It's really at the eastern end of the Pewsey Vale, which of course contains many other important prehistoric sites.

(see 'Excavation at Crofton Causewayed Enclosure' by Sue Lobb, in WAM v88 1995)

WAM 70-71 1975/6 notes that five long barrows lie within 6km of the enclosure, these on the higher ground to the S and SE, flanking the Vale of Pewsey.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
22nd June 2005ce
Edited 6th July 2005ce

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