Fieldnotes - Conkwell Stone Circle - Sunday 20-01-08
O.S. Map: Bristol & Bath inc. Keynsham & Marshfield.
Sheet Number: 155 - 1:25000 - ISBN: 9780319239773
The easiest route to this site is as follows;
Leave the A4 at the Bathford roundabout and travel down the A363 towards Bradford-on-Avon. After a mile, you will come to a cross roads with a sign for Warleigh. Take the B road and travel past the Manor school, and up Warleigh Hill. When you reach the top of the hill you will cross the county line into Wiltshire. Just past this, the road comes to a tee junction. Park your car off the road, and the site is to the right.
At first sight this site looked a tip. When me and Scubi63 visited back in January, it contained the remains of an abandoned camp with two tents and much rubbish. I had a copy of Guy Underwood's 1946 report of his excavations, which includes all the documentation I could find on the site.
The sketch made by Guy was a bit poor so I re-drew it and have posted it up here, together with a detail from the overall site plan. We didn't have a lot of time and being January; the light would have gone by 5 o'clock in the afternoon. We uncovered enough of the stones to be certain it was the correct place, although some, like the centre stone, No.1 did seem to be missing. A detailed probing of the undergrowth would be needed to update the record.
The following comes from Guy Underwood's notes from 1946.
No Man's Land.
This site was illustrated in W.A.M., December. 1945, p. 231, when attention was called to the possibility that certain stones might be the remains of a Stone Circle. It is at the S.W. corner of the main site, and it was this site that called my attention to the main site, and may be associated with it.
Surface quarrying has disturbed the site. Most of the stones north of the road, are of local surface ragstone. Most of those on the south, and No. 1 and 10 to the north, are of finer material and come from lower levels. Some bear stalagmitic deposits indicating the action of water for long periods. These stones, several of which weigh over a ton must therefore have been brought to the site, which occupies the highest point for some distance round. They are printed black on the plan.
Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine Vol. 51, p447 Guy Underwood
Exposed rock strata originally interpreted as a stone circle.
ST 79456280- A possible stone circle, in "No Man's Land", cut by the road between Conkwell and Upper Haugh Farm, was discovered by G. Underwood. The area is disturbed by quarrying and a number of stones are visible.
Some of the stones have stalagmitic deposits and must therefore have been brought there (though they might equally represent a shattered deposit, in situ). Flint flakes and one sherd were found.
Grinsell described the circle as doubtful, see illustration card. This is not a stone circle. The stones, which extend further than shown by Underwood, are parts of normal strata, probably visible because of quarrying in the area.