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

Small Down

Barrow / Cairn Cemetery


A great little site not far from Chesterblade with superb all round views.

In fact this is two sites for the 'price' of one, since 13, 14 - or so? - denuded round barrows crown the high ground in centre of the hillfort. The ramparts themselves are not particularly powerful, but easily traceable all the same.

The fact that the barrows were not used as spoil to help construct the ramparts strongly suggests to me that the Iron Age inhabitants were fully aware of the ancient sanctity of hilltops (such as Small Down Knoll) and were clearly quite prepared to embrace them within their enclosures...whether out of fear of retribution from supernatural forces, or genuine respect I guess we'll never know. However this is far from an isolated occurrence in my experience, strongly suggesting a continuity of belief down the ages

Incidentally, I asked at Small Down Farm for permission to visit, which was readily given. Right on!

Visited: 14/4/06
13th June 2009ce
Edited 14th February 2010ce

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