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Marden Henge (and Hatfield Barrow)



This is part of a letter from James Norris, Esq. to Dr Withering. Nonesuch-House, Feb. 9, 1798. The idea of a moat reminds me of Silbury and its seasonal moat. Growing crops on the mound seems a bit bizarre. But maybe in pre-combine days it was easier to harvest.
.. near the village of Marden, is a remarkable tumulus called Hatfield-barrow; the only work of the kind, I believe, to be found in this lowland vale, although so very frequent on the elevated downs on both sides. It stands in an enclosure, and is above the usual size, and nearly hemispherical; it is surrounded by a broad circular intrenchment, which, from being constantly supplied with water by innate springs, forms a sort of moat, which does not become dry even in the midst of summer; a circumstance I have never found attending any other barrow. In this water ditch, the Menyanthese trifoliata or bogbean, plentifully grows: a plant which I have not seen elsewhere in that neighbourhood. The whole of the barrow is at present ploughed over, and is said to be more fertile than the surrounding field. I have seen it clothed with wheat ready for the sickle; when the richness of colour, and the beautiful undulations of the corn, formed an object as pleasing as it was uncommon.
From p236 of The Miscellaneous Tracts of the Late William Withering. Vol 1. 1822. Online at Google Books.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
26th February 2007ce
Edited 13th August 2007ce

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