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Badbury Rings

Barrow / Cairn Cemetery

Fieldnotes

I spent my lunch break strolling round the Bronze Age parts of the British Museum today and came home determined to look up the Badbury stone in Grinsell. It's a bit confusing as he doesn't use the name the Three Kings at any point, but the barrows in question are probably what he calls Shapwick 5, 6a and 6b (6a having yielded the stone). But although the Museum information says the barrow was destroyed, Grinsell puts it down at 9 feet high and I suspect it has not been destroyed since. Anyway here's his marvellous description:

"...nearly levelled 1845, but removal of the centre was watched by JHA [J H Austen]. About three inhumations, probably primary, two with food-vessels and one with an ornamented handled pot resembling those of Cornish type; up to 15 cremations (perhaps more), a few possibly contemporary with the inhumations, the majority clearly secondary and a few with E/MBA [early to middle Bronze Age] collared urns of a latish type; as far as can now be ascertained, none was LBA [late Bronze Age]. The barrow consisted of a central cairn of local sandstone blocks enclosed in a ring of flints, which was bordered by a massive wall of sandstone 30 feet diameter, outside of which was a ring of chalk about 15 feet wide, which must have originally covered the mound. The interments were probably all in the central cairn. In the centre according to Durden (not in the surrounding wall as often stated) was the well-known large slab of sandstone which was decorated with carvings of daggers and axes, the former of type similar to those from Stonehenge, conjectured to be of Mycenean type.


from "Dorset Barrows", 1959.
UncleRob Posted by UncleRob
17th November 2008ce

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