|See also Folklore:
"The most tantalizing feature of all is an apparent sacred well or 'ritual shaft'. The latter, which are often found within rectilinear earthwork enclosures, have a European ancestry going back well into the Bronze Age. Wilsford Shaft, on Salisbury Plain, may be similar to the Wapley example. Here, a shaft was sunk during the late Bronze Age into chalk to a depth of 33m. Recovered from the bottom of the shaft was a wooden bowl, bucket fragments (dated between 1470 and 1290 BC), as well as animal bone and other evidence in the form of pollen, molluscs and contemporary soil deposits. Both shafts appear to be the openings to the realm of underworld deities*, and as such reflect concepts found in the Greek and Latin worlds. In addition, containing votive deposits of pottery vessels, animal and human bones, and wooden figurines (both male and female in form), such shafts link the cult of the underworld with that of springs and water generally, where Celtic votive deposits are also found.
The precise nature of the feature at Wapley remains a mystery; but the discovery within the enclosure of at least four unexcavated pillow mounds** increases the likelihood that Wapley was at least in part an Iron Age sacred enclosure. Perhaps the elaborate system of ramparts was an attempt to emphasise symbolically the share of the land apportioned by local Celts to their gods."
From "Prehistoric Sites of Herefordshire" - George Children and George Nash (1994 Logaston Press).
*As evidenced by what precisely? The big signpost saying "Welcome to Hades"?
**I always thought that these were medieval and to do with rabbits (like the ones at nearby Croft Ambrey).
Posted by thesweetcheat
6th February 2009ce
Edited 6th February 2009ce