|The camp at Amesbury called Vespasian's Camp
The camp near Amesbury, between Stonehenge and the town, upon elevated ground, was, according to Stukeley, commonly called Vespasian's, and he endorses the name. It is locally known as "the ramparts". Sir R. Hoare considers that this was originally the stronghold of those numerous Britons who inhabited the plains around Stonehenge, an asylum in times of danger, for their wives, children, and cattle; and that like other camps of the same kind, it was occupied, as occasion or necessity required, by Romans, Saxons, and Danes.
"It occupies the apex of a hill, surrounded on two sides, east and south, by the river Avon, and comprehends within its area 39 acres. It extends in length from south to north, and terminates in a narrow rounded angle at the latter point. It was surrounded by a single vallum, which has been much mutilated on the east side in forming the pleasure grounds of Amesbury Park. The ramparts on the western side towards Stonehenge, are very bold and perfect. It appears to have had two entrances, north and south ; the former still remains perfect and undoubted. The area is planted and fancifully disposed in avenues, walks, &c., near the principal one of which, and on the highest ground, is the appearance of a barrow, but much disfigured in its form.'' The camp is divided by the high road which passes Stonehenge. In Stukeley's Common-Place Book, is the following mention of it: ''The walls, Vespasian's camp, as believ'd. The people of Amesbury say the area of it is 40 acres, single trench, one graff towards Stonehenge." In his " Stonehenge described," he describes the camp as "an oblong square, nicely placed upon a flexure of the river, which closes one side and one end of it. There is an old barrow inclos'd in it, which doubtless was one of those belonging to this plain, and to the temple of Stonehenge, before this camp was made"
Stonehenge and its Barrows by William Long, Esq., M.A., F.S.A. 1876
Posted by Chance
10th June 2010ce