|An extremely draughty place to be (we were reduced, old person stylee, to eating our sandwiches in the car). If you can tear your hair away from your eyes you'll find the top of the down (?) is riddled with all manner of bumps and ditches. The far (east) end of White Sheet Hill is a pretty small Iron Age site - but with triple? banks and some fairly steep ditches (as we discovered, all angled either to funnel the wind straight at you or, if sheltered to be disgustingly soggy so you can't sit down - excellent defence or what). There are Bronze age barrows half way along the down (mind the reckless model plane fliers here).
But! at the western end - a Neolithic Causewayed Enclosure, no less. It has a single causewayed ditch and it sits out on the spur of the hills. It could be 5000 years old.
Now for my speculative bit. It's not overly convincing from the map, but when you're up there it seems that the Neolithic earthworks directly address the hill 'Long Knoll' across the valley. And it's my opinion that Long Knoll looks like a recumbent figure. I have to buy a digital camera to take with me everywhere.. Anyway, this would fit in so well with similar ideas about recumbent images of the earth god/dess being sighted on by Neolithic sites, that you can read about in TMA and in here. The nearby village is called 'Maiden Bradley' (Maiden + Bride-lea?) which seemed highly significant in my enthusiasm to prove my new discovery.
Please visit and tell me your opinion! Turn up the lane at the pub on the B3092 between Maiden Bradley and Stourhead. There's a car park half way up the hill, but if you want to skid in the gravel you can drive up to the top where there are a range of enormous potholes to park in. Don't bother following the track down the other side - it just gets ridiculous unless you're in a landrover, and if you're in anything remotely lowslung you simply have to turn round.
I believe that Jack's Castle barrow is very close to Alfred's Tower (shown in the above photographs). Would it have been visible without the trees? And did Colt Hoare deliberately put his tower next to it?
Posted by Rhiannon
3rd April 2002ce
Edited 6th November 2006ce