|Lake Barrow Group
Field notes - Visited 5th Aug 2007
There are three different and separate barrow groups south of Normanton Down, all of which are within the Wilsford cum Lake parish. Apart from the Lake group, there is the Lake Down barrow group (SU 117 393) which is actually on Lake Down, east of Druids Lodge and above Spring Bottom. The other group is known as the Wilsford Barrow group (SU 118 398) and this sits on the spur between Wilsford Down and Lake Down, on the western slope of Spring Bottom.
The Lake group are located just off the track that runs past Normanton Down and onto the A360 at Druids Lodge. These barrows are on private land but in order to get permission to view them you need to walk past them to Westfield farm.
This group contains at least fifteen bowl-barrows, four bell-barrows, two disc barrows and a long barrow. The farm track separates the main barrows of the group, the northern set containing the long barrow and disc barrows sit in a wood, while on the southern side of the track are two bell and three bowl barrows, one of which has been greatly reduced. To the north-west lay a satellite group of four bowl barrows which were completely excavated by Professor William Grimes in 1959 due to the damage they were under from being ploughed down.
Although Colt Hoare and William Cunnington carried out a lot of the excavations in the area, many of the barrows in this group including both the disc barrows, were opened by a former proprietor, Rev. Edward Duke, unfortunately with little, if any record. The Neolithic long barrow however, aligned north-west to south-east, 42 metres long, 23 metres wide and 2.5 metres high, appears never to have been opened or excavated in any way. The bell and bowl barrows which stand in the triangular open area between the two arms of the wood are the best preserved although the one furthest west is greatly reduced. These were the subject of Duke's excavations in 1807, but there is doubt as to what he found in which barrow.
The barrows within the wood were difficult to photograph when I visited at the height of summer due to the extensive vegetation. There was a stench of death and I think a badger set had been the scene of slaughter. Some of the barrows had certainly been damaged by burrowing, if not by the tree roots that had engulfed them. I couldn't get too far into the overgrowth to see the disc barrows or the so-called, Prophet Barrow which was said to be the place a French prophet preached from in 1710.
An interesting barrow group if you have the time to walk down from Stonehenge and get permission to look around them but I would recommend you did this in the winter months when the trees are bare and you can get a clearer view of the barrows.
Posted by Chance
10th June 2010ce