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

Ringlemere Farm

Round Barrow(s)


"Our previous excavations have produced a wealth of information, which we are now starting to piece together. In prehistoric times, the site at Ringlemere must have been one of considerable importance. The story really begins around 2600 BC when a large circular ditched enclosure was constructed on the site, for reasons which still remain unclear to us. This enclosure was probably used for ceremonial purposes. We understand little of the detail but there had been a small rectangular timber building at the centre of the monument at one time, perhaps a shrine. This timber structure was surrounded by pits, holes for wooden posts and several hearths, all of which implies that there had once been considerable activity within the enclosed area.

Years later, perhaps around 2000 BC, a mound of turf and soil was heaped up in the middle of the old enclosure, burying all the earlier features. The mound seems to have created a platform to support a new timber structure, close to the site of the earlier shrine. A large pit dug into the top of the mound nearby may have originally contained the gold cup. By the time the gold cup came to be buried, however, the monument had perhaps already been in use (possibly intermittently) for well over 500 years. Yet, not long after, the site seems to have been abandoned, leaving the mound with its encircling ditch as a monument to the Ancestors, largely ignored by later inhabitants of the region. The Romans came and went without leaving much of a mark on the site. But to generations of local rabbits, foxes and badgers this ancient mound provided an ideal place to dig their burrows - we have excavated numerous examples of them.

Then, in about AD 450 new Anglo-Saxon settlers arrived in the region. To them, the ancient mound showed that this was a place of great importance, which would be very suitable for the burial of their dead. They established a cemetery here which contained over 50 individuals, some cremated. The cemetery went out of use around AD 550 and the area eventually became the farmland that it continues to be today."

From an excellent up-to-date resource on the ongoing excavations at Ringlemere. Recent aerial photographs have turned up more than 20 barrows marked in the immediate vicinity.
slumpystones Posted by slumpystones
2nd April 2007ce
Edited 2nd April 2007ce

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