|Here is Richard Colt Hoare's description of the same excavation:
A little to the west of Alfred's Tower is a large mound of earth, vulgarly called JACK'S CASTLE, and generally considered as one of those beacons, where in former times, fires were lighted to alarm the neighbourhood on the approach of an enemy:From 'The History of Ancient Wiltshire', online at the Wiltshire County Council website
"And flaming beacons cast their blaze afar,
The dreadful signal of invasive war."
Its elevated situation over the great forest of Selwood, commanding a distant view of the Severn, was well adapted to such a purpose, and might have been so used; but I always had considered its original destination to have been sepulchral, and so, on opening, it proved to be.
After digging for some feet through a soft sand, we came to a thick stratum of picked flints, under which was deposited an interment of bones very minutely burned, enclosed within a cist, and amongst them a small lance head of brass, and an axe or hammer of a species of stone, called Sienite.. The lance head had been esteemed valuable by the Briton its possessor, for it was protected by a sheath of wood. The axe is one of the most perfect we have discovered, and is very nicely formed. The high antiquity of this tumulus, which I shall call SELWOOD BARROW, is satisfactorily proved by the articles found within it.
Posted by Rhiannon
13th January 2007ce
Edited 13th January 2007ce