Although Fyfield and Overton Downs are part of the Chalk uplands which form so important a portion of the so-called ' Lowland Zone ', the readily available supply of stone from the once wide spread sarsen cover has been much used and produced archaeological features uncharacteristic of chalk country as a whole. The sarsens used in the chambers of both long barrows (A.I and 2), surround in various ways some ' Celtic ' fields, and as building material on the Wroughton Copse medieval site, are mentioned elsewhere (pp.99, 105, and 110). A few further examples of their use are given here.
1. 400 yds. north north-east of Down Barn is an irregular circle of 15 stones, with one in the approximate centre. A disturbed 2ft. high mound appears to be wedged against the eastern side of the' circle '. Is almost certainly not a' natural disposition of stones ' (V.C.H., p. 120) though whether it is a prehistoric monument is unknown. It is avoided by the broad rig to south and east. 13186986. Not on O.S.
2. c.60 yds. north-east of(1) is a line of small sarsens c.80 yds. long. Probably recent, as one stone lies in a furrow between broad rig. 13256990.
3. In a narrow gully leading west from the combe bottom immediately east of the ' pillow mound' (A.20) is a short sarsen alignment apparently unconnected with ' Celtic ' fields. 13447069. Not on O.S.
N. of Overton and West of Avebury is Down Barn O.M. xxviii., S.E., 6-inch (just south of which are the two standing stones described in W A.M., vol. xlii., 50) ; 377 yards N.N.E, of this building is a stone circle 61 feet in diameter (see plan), it consists of 15 stones placed somewhat irrrgularly round the periphery with one at the centre. They are compaiatively small, the largest being just under six feet long. One stone on the S.W. edge has a smaller one lying in front of it, making 17 in all ; on the S.E. edge what appears to be a small round barrow has been constructed at a later time than the circle. This has been deeply excavated in the cenre. It is not on O.M.
It is very rare to find on the downs any area with the remains of one age superimposed on another, but here apparently we have a late Stone Age circle becoming disused and afterwards doing duty as a Bronze Age burial place. Although the barrow has been dug into, probably by relic hunters, the site should be thoroughly excavated again. It is, however, only right to say that these stones lie among many other natural saraens scattered over the down though it seems desirable to record them as a possible circle here.
North of the above and on the next sheet, O.M. xxviii., N.E., is Parson's Penning, E. of this and at the triangulation mark 762 is a cairn built of sarsen stones and hitherto unnoticed because it is covered by a tangle of bush and rough herbage, it stands on an apparently artificial platform 60 feet in diameter, the cairn is now about five feet high, there is one large horizontal slab on the N.W. edge which stood upright at no distant date but now leans over to the south. There is a hole in the centre of the cairn marking the site of former excavation.
A small silted up trench approaches the cairn from the S.E. and apparently continues under it but does not appear on the other side.
An air photograph of this down is given in Wessex from the Air, 1928.
A. D. Passmore
Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine Vol 44, pages 244-5