Continuing this summer's exploration of barrows and megaliths in the Cotswolds, friend (with a car) had plotted out a walk using OS Explorer 168. We set off this morning from the pretty village of Avening heading towards Norn's Tump on Minchinhampton Golf Course. Norn's Tump was overgrown with summer vegetation and hawthorns so as not too much to see we continued across the golf course towards Gatcombe Park.
Very much out of my comfort zone here but Friend seemed confident about plan to walk down an access road into Gatcombe Park to locate the Tingle Stone and barrow. What we didn't know was that the British Eventing Festival was being set up in the same field as the Tingle Stone; there were marquees, landrovers and contractors in profusion. Feeling illicit, we slipped round the back of the marquees hoping not to be noticed; no one challenged us and we spent 15 minutes or so looking at this unusual limestone on the top of a tree covered long barrow. When we spotted a convoy of black rangerovers drive down the access road and not wishing to be introduced to royalty we beat a hasty retreat back up to the road trying to look as inconspicuous as possible.
Visited August 2009.
As with most other people I took what I thought was the sesible approach and contented myself with a view from the lane which runs alongside the field in which the stone stands. Unfortunately I did make the major mistake of trying to drive down siad lane! Unless you drive a 4x4 forget it. Damage to exhaust now repaired!!!
Having read the other fieldnotes about policemen and still hoping to get to Minchinhampton and Whitfield's Tump before making my way back to Nailsworth, I contented myself with a view from the lane. The standing stone for which the barrow is named is clearly visible amongst the trees - an attractive barrow in a nice setting, I would like to have spent longer here. But it's off to the Longstone of Minchinhampton and Gatcombe Lodge.
Not the easiest to find: on the minor road linking Avening to Minchinhampton. Travelling from Minchinhampton pass the stone bus shelter in the Hamlet of Hampton Fields and pull up in the wide mouth of the track that is the next right turn. The Tinglestone is a couple of hundred yards downhill, clearly visible in a field on the right. Being a summer visit the barrow on which the Tinglestone sits was very overgrown with nettles and a little rough underfoot. Be warned that this stone is on royal property and keen eyed locals/estate workers tend to be suspicious.
Not an easy place to visit, men in uniform lurking, but I walked with extreme confidence to the stone and was not accosted. I was there earlier in the year than Baza and the stone was surrounded with undergrowth, and rather eerie.
In Avening parish, about half a mile south of the Longstone, is "Tinglestone," a menhir crowning a long barrow; Mr. Frost of Avening tells me that it too* "runs round the field when it hears the clock strike twelve."
*'too' refers to the Long Stone. From: Cotswold Place-Lore and Customs, by J. B. Partridge, in Folklore, Vol. 23, No. 3. (Sep., 1912), pp. 332-342.
A much mutilated long barrow orientated north - south, with a maximum height of 2m. The standing stone is 1.5m high by 2m by 0.3m thick, and is presumably a portal stone.
(ST 88239899) The Tingle Stone (NAT) Long Barrow (GT). (1)
A long barrow, orientated N-S with the north end the higher, 130ft by 70ft and 6ft high. The standing stone which gives the site its name is 6ft high and is situated on top of the mound towards the north end (2).
Coins are said to have been found in the barrow (3). (2-3)
The westerly post of a gateway, just to the north, is of much weathered oolite measuring 4 1/2ft high by 2ft by 1ft, and could possibly have come from the barrow (4). (4)
A much mutilated long barrow orientated N-S, with a maximum height of 2.0m. The standing stone is 1.5m high by 2.0m by 0.3m thick, and is presumably a portal stone.
Published survey (25") revised. (5)
( 1) Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) OS 6" 1955
( 2) General reference P Cotteswolde NFC 5 1868-70 280 (G F Playne)
( 3a) General reference Bigland's Glos
( 3) General reference Camden's Britannia Gough's Edn 1 1789 398
( 4) Annotated Record Map Corr 6" (M Crook 24.7.50)
( 5) Field Investigators Comments F1 DJC 18-JAN-73
Earlier mention of the stone by this name is in Ralph Bigland's (or Rudge's??) 'History of Gloucestershire' (first published 1786) p392. He says:
"On the summit is placed a huge fragment of rock, evidently a sepulchral monument, which has been known for ages* by the name of Tingle Stone.
In the common field near it are two large stones set upright in the ground: one has its top broken off, the other is perfect, and stands nearly ten feet above the surface. Tradition assigns one or both to the memory of Long, a Danish chieftain, whence the name of Long's Stone, or Pillar: near it two ancient rings have been found.
Long's Stone, which stood beside the turnpike road from Tetbury to Hampton, in the ascent from Dane's Bottom towards the town, has been within a few years broken up and destroyed."