After spending an enjoyable couple of hours in Chippenham, it was time to head home, but not of course without first visiting a couple of sites!
After negotiating the maze of lanes we parked in a small layby opposite a house called Pinewood. The sign stated 'Road ahead closed' although I suspect this was just a ploy to keep the 'riff raff' from driving up the road which gives access to several very posh houses. Perhaps it would be more accurate if the sign said 'No through road'?
Anyway, the sun was shining and I fancied a walk and a time on my own to clear my head (the children had been playing up but were now asleep).
There are several paths leading from the road, up through the trees; towards the edge of the golf course.
I followed the edge of trees keeping a sharp eye out for low flying golf balls. I passed a couple of people playing who seemed friendly enough.
Before long I spotted (barely) the southern of the two Barrows marked on my O/S map. It is only about 6 inches high by about 3 foot wide. A well manicured grass 'bump' along the edge of the fairway right next to the trees.
If you wasn't looking for it specifically you wouldn't have know it was there.
It is close to three upright 'standing stones' which look like fingers, placed in the middle of the fairway as some sort of obstacle I guess?
I continued my walk north keeping close to the edge of the trees. I eventually ended up at the end of the hill top (and the golf course) at hole 13. This proved to be unlucky for me as I couldn’t find the second Barrow!
It has either now been ‘lost’ to the golf course or is hidden amongst the nettles/undergrowth of the surrounding scrub. If the Barrow is the same size as the first one I had seen this could easily have been the case. I did spot one sizable stone sticking out of the ground but this seemed to be natural?
Amid the nettles was a bench which gave wonderful views across the valley below. I sat a while, in the summer sunshine and though that this was a good place to be and was worth the walk for the view alone. I eventually made my way back to the car but this time chose the ‘safer’ route back through the trees and along the ‘closed road’.
Again, there were great views to be had and some of the posh houses I passed were gorgeous.
In summery, a lovely stroll in the afternoon sunshine and saw some great views.
In terms of ‘old stones’ nothing to make a visit worthwhile.
Unless, you fancy a game of golf of course!
[ST 8139 6777] TUMULUS [G.T.] (1)
A bowl barrow, 17 paces in diameter and a foot high, was excavated by A. Shaw-Mellor in 1934 (identified with published site by Grinsell). The excavation was unsatisfactory, but finds included calcined bones and charcoal, on and about a large flat stone, and many fragments of bone and teeth from at least ten individuals. Potsherds included Ne 'B', M.B.A., and I.A. 'A' or 'B' sherds. A primary MBA cremation with intrusive inhumations is suggested by Grinsell but he also suggests "IA human sacrifices" for which there seems little evidence. The finds are in Mellor's private collection. (2-4)
[ST 81376777] This is a bowl barrow 0.5m. high. Shaw-Mellor is dead and his collection is in Devizes Museum. (5)
('A': ST81356797; 'B': ST 81316738). (1)
Tumulus (GT) (Twice) (Not on OS 6" 1923, but 'A' shown as clump of trees named Totney Firs).
Totney Firs is surrounded by a tree ring apparently marked as a barrow by the O.S. (No mention of 'B' on (2), or of either in V.C.H. Wilts, 1, 1957). (2)
There is no trace of a barrow in the area of Totney Firs which is a tree-ring 'B' is a bowl barrow 0.8m. high, at ST81296738. Surveyed at 1/2500. (3)