The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Cassington Big Ring


Nearest Town:Woodstock (7km NNW)
OS Ref (GB):   SP452102 / Sheet: 164
Latitude:51° 47' 17.24" N
Longitude:   1° 20' 40.62" W

Added by phil

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A ring ditch at Cassington partially excavated in 1932. The site comprised two concentric circular ditches. The inner was penannular, with a narrow causeway (emphasised by an outer spur ditch) on the west. At the surface of the gravel it was 4 feet wide and up to 21 inches deep. Its outline was slightly iregular, suggesting construction in segments. It appears to have had a maximum diameter of circa 45 feet. The outer ditch was continuous and less substantial, measuring around 1 foot deep and a maximum of 3 feet wide. It was more irregular in appearance than the inner ditch. The excavator suggested that, on the basis of the asymmetric ditch fill, the inner ditch had originally been accompanied by an outer bank. The inner ditch offered insufficient evidence for the location of a bank, if there was one. Most of the topsoil had been removed prior to excavation, although in what remained were some Roman potsherds and some tile of Medieval or later date. Further probable Roman sherds were in the uppermost levels of the inner ditch. In "the deepest level" was a sherd which was described in the excavation report as being "not impossibly Bronze Age in date". A subsequent publication (Hamlin and Case 1963) refers however to "Struck flints and sherd possibly of Peterborough ware in primary silt. Peterborough ware and Roman-British pottery in secondary silt". While the possible presence of Peterborough Ware hints at a possible Neolithic date for the inner ditch at least, the sherds may of course represent debris from earlier activity. The published report offers insufficient information on the potsherds' context and condition.
Posted by phil
6th December 2003ce