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Wor Barrow

Long Barrow

<b>Wor Barrow</b>Posted by The EternalImage © The Eternal
Also known as:
  • Pegan bearh
  • Monument No. 213497

Nearest Town:Shaftesbury (16km W)
OS Ref (GB):   SU012172 / Sheet: 184
Latitude:50° 57' 13.12" N
Longitude:   1° 58' 58.49" W

Added by Rhiannon


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Photographs:<b>Wor Barrow</b>Posted by mrcrusty <b>Wor Barrow</b>Posted by mrcrusty <b>Wor Barrow</b>Posted by mrcrusty <b>Wor Barrow</b>Posted by mrcrusty <b>Wor Barrow</b>Posted by mrcrusty <b>Wor Barrow</b>Posted by mrcrusty <b>Wor Barrow</b>Posted by mrcrusty <b>Wor Barrow</b>Posted by mrcrusty <b>Wor Barrow</b>Posted by formicaant <b>Wor Barrow</b>Posted by formicaant <b>Wor Barrow</b>Posted by The Eternal Maps / Plans / Diagrams:<b>Wor Barrow</b>Posted by wysefool

Fieldnotes

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The photo I was able to take of this much messed about with long barrow had to be taken long distance from Ackling dyke as there is no obvious public access I could see to this site. formicaant Posted by formicaant
17th May 2007ce

Miscellaneous

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Details of long barrow on Pastscape

Neolithic long barrow located near the crest of Oakley Down, orientated roughly northwest-southeast. Listed by RCHME as Sixpenny Handley 29 and by Grinsell as Handley I. Excavated totally by Pitt Rivers in 1893-4, prior to excavation it comprised a mound 150 feet long, 75 feet wide and 12 feet high. It was surrounded by a ditch which proved to be steep-sided, flat-bottomed, and interrupted by a single causeway at the northwest end and three at the southeast end. The ditch varied in width from 10 feet to 25 feet, and was up to 13 feet deep. The excavations showed that the mound was preceded by an earlier monument on the same alignment, suggested by Barrett et al (1991) to be a sub-rectangular post-built structure, the posts perhaps revetting a mound up to 1.5 metres high. A porched entrance faced southeast, and just inside it was the main burial area. Bracketed by 2 D-shaped pits and flanked by a stone bank were the disarticulated remains of 3 males and the articulated skeletons of 3 others, all covered by a low mound of soil. The ditch surrounding the later, enlarged mound featured a lengthy sequence of deposits, beginning with Early Neolithic plain bowl sherds plus antler radicoarbon dated to the early to mid 4th millennium BC in the lowest fill. Above these layers, but below those containing Peterborough Ware, were 2 crouched inhumations (1 adult, 1 child) with a large flint arrowhead against the west terminal of the entrance. Higerh layers contained Peterborough Ware pottery, while the uppermost featured some beaker sherds and Roman pottery. Seventeen possible late Saxon burials had been inserted into the ditch. In later prehistory, Wor Barrow appears to have been separated from cultivated fields by an irregulalr ditched enclosure (see SU 01 NW 12). Wor Barrow is closely associated with two later Neolithic round barrows (SU 01 NW 13 and 15). The site was reconstructed, after a fashion, by Pitt Rivers.
Chance Posted by Chance
28th May 2014ce

Details of round barrow on Pastscape - Monument No. 213498

A later Neolithic round barrow located immediately south east of Wor Barrow (SU 01 NW 14). The site was briefly examined by Colt Hoare in the early 19th century and more thoroughly examined by Pitt Rivers in 1894. Prior to the latter's excavtion, the mound appears to have been circa 0.90 metres high, and was surrounded by a ditch 13 metres in diameter, and featuring a causeway on the western side, broadly facing the causeway at the southeastern end of Wor Barrow. Pitt Rivers states that fragments of a skeleton were found at the centre of the barrow lying on a heap of flint nodules. He also refers to a crouched skeleton being found 8.5 feet west of the centre and 1 foot beneath the surface (of the mound, presumably). This was accompanied by a jet slider. Sherds of Mortlake ware were found at the bottom of the ditch and below the mound, while Beaker sherds and Collared Urn sherds were also found. Hoare's excavations were less successful. He cited disturbance to both this and the other nearby round barrow SU 01 NW 13 by a boundary ditch as a reason for the poverty of finds, but he did note fragments of human bones intermixed with soil.
Chance Posted by Chance
28th May 2014ce

Details of round barrow on Pastscape - Monument No. 213498

A later Neolithic round barrow located immediately south east of Wor Barrow (SU 01 NW 14). The site was briefly examined by Colt Hoare in the early 19th century and more thoroughly examined by Pitt Rivers in 1894. Prior to the latter's excavtion, the mound appears to have been circa 0.90 metres high, and was surrounded by a ditch 13 metres in diameter, and featuring a causeway on the western side, broadly facing the causeway at the southeastern end of Wor Barrow. Pitt Rivers states that fragments of a skeleton were found at the centre of the barrow lying on a heap of flint nodules. He also refers to a crouched skeleton being found 8.5 feet west of the centre and 1 foot beneath the surface (of the mound, presumably). This was accompanied by a jet slider. Sherds of Mortlake ware were found at the bottom of the ditch and below the mound, while Beaker sherds and Collared Urn sherds were also found. Hoare's excavations were less successful. He cited disturbance to both this and the other nearby round barrow SU 01 NW 13 by a boundary ditch as a reason for the poverty of finds, but he did note fragments of human bones intermixed with soil.
Chance Posted by Chance
28th May 2014ce

Angle Ditch - Monument No. 213495

Details of ditch on Pastscape

A length of ditch of Middle Bronze Age date discovered and excavated in October 1893 by Pitt Rivers. The ditch runs for a total length of 68.6 metres, and includes a near right-angled turn. Prior to excavation, the site had not been visible as a surface feature. The ditch averaged 2 metres in depth. No trace of an accompanying bank was observed. Area excavations failed to idnetify any post-built structures associated with the ditch. However, this was also the case at nearby South Lodge (ST 91 NE 9), where Pitt-Rivers and his labourers largely failed to notice structures which only came to light during re-excavation in the late 1970s by Barrett and Bradley. It seems likely therefore that the Angle Ditch represents either a partially enclosed settlement, or a partially ditched enclosure (see, for example, the nearby Down Farm enclosure SU 01 SW 84). Like South Lodge, the ditch appears to run around the corner of an earlier field plot (integrated within field system SU 01 NW 71). Pitt Rivers' surface trenching recovered pottery and flint in variable quantities across the area examined, including some notable concentrations. The ditch also contained pottery, metalwork and other finds of Middle Bronze Age date. The upper fill of the ditch included some Roman pottery, and Roman sherds also occurred in a surface scatter in the vicinity. The Angle Ditch itself is also cut by a later ditch which also appears to form part of a larger irregular enclosure surrounding Wor Barrow (SU 01 NW 14) and a couple of round barrows (SU 01 NW 13 and 15). The purpose of this larger enclosure appears to have been to demarcate an unploughed area around Wor Barrow.
Chance Posted by Chance
28th May 2014ce

Wor Barrow long stands near to the crest of Handley Down. It would have been truly impressive when it was built around 5000 years ago: the 45m long mound was 3m high and surrounded by a hefty 4m deep ditch. At the SE end three causeways interrupted the ditch. There was a causeway at the opposite end too. Pitt Rivers excavated the ditch and the mound in the 1890s. He found a couple of burials in the ditch, and six under the mound, in what was once a rectangular timber structure (a mortuary enclosure?), which had then been covered by a circular turf mound. He also found that people from the Romano-British era had reused the mound, as there were some later burials in the upper layers.

Perhaps bizarre to our thinking, P-R then decided that the best thing to do would be to terrace the earth from the SW side of the mound, and turn the place into a kind of stage to create 'an amphitheatre for games or other amusements and exhibitions.' Hey, just reuse of the site I guess. It should have a nice view after all. But it does sound like he more or less demolished the place. However, overall, the excavation was really the first ever 'scientific' barrow excavation and P-R used lots of new approaches - for example, the use of photos taken from a tower. He also pioneered experiments investigating the weathering of the exposed ditches. (In fact, anyone doubting that the man was a top chap should go to the Pitt-Rivers Museum in Oxford, where they will be delighted by his eclectic collection of assorted cultural 'stuff' from all over the world.)

There are two bowl barrows (probably with Neolithic origins) next to the Wor Barrow - this is interesting to have a number of Neolithic barrows in such proximity, and a large, later barrow cemetery nearby on Oakley Down.

(info from the EH SMR)


Ronald Hutton (in his 1991 'Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles') mentions that one of the male skeletons found had an arrowhead embedded in his side. Which rather indicates that people could be just as nasty to each other in the Neolithic as they would ever be. Unless it was an accident, mate, I thought you were a wild boar.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
27th November 2003ce
Edited 18th May 2007ce

Links

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Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum


A photo of the Wor Barrow being excavated in the late 19th century. You can see the depth of the ditch nicely. And also some pyramids, for some reason?!
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
16th September 2010ce