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

   

Oxfordshire

Sites in this group:

2 posts
Abingdon Causewayed enclosure Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork
1 post
Adstone Round Barrow(s)
2 posts
Adwell Cop Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork
15 posts
Alfred's Castle Hillfort
6 posts
Ascott Under Wychwood Barrow Long Barrow
4 posts
Ashbury Holed Stone
1 post
Ashbury Earthwork Round Barrow(s)
13 posts
Ashdown Park Sarsens Natural Rock Feature
9 posts
Badbury Hill Camp Hillfort
7 posts
Barrow Hills, Radley Barrow / Cairn Cemetery (Destroyed)
1 post
Besbury Lane Round Barrow(s)
2 posts
Bladon Camp Hillfort
5 posts
Bledlow Cross and Wain Hill Hill Figure
1 post
Bledlow Settlement Site Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork
15 posts
Blewburton Hill Hillfort
8 posts
Blewbury Downs Tumuli Round Barrow(s)
31 posts
Blowing Stone Standing Stone / Menhir
7 posts
Bozedown Hillfort
14 posts
Brightwell Barrow Round Barrow(s)
4 posts
Burnt Hill Dolmen Chambered Tomb
1 post
Cassington Big Ring Enclosure
6 posts
Chastleton Barrow (Fort) Hillfort
9 posts
Cherbury Camp Hillfort
1 post
Chinnor Settlement Site Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork
5 posts
Churchill Copse Long Barrow Long Barrow
4 posts
Churchill Standing Stone Standing Stone / Menhir
8 posts
Churchill Three Stones Standing Stones
23 posts
Churchill Village Stones Standing Stones
12 posts
Churn Knob Barrow / Cairn Cemetery
5 posts
Cleveley Marker Stone Standing Stone / Menhir
1 post
Coin Barrow Round Barrow(s)
Cornwell Stone Standing Stone / Menhir
1 post
Crawley Long Barrow (Destroyed)
1 post
Cuddesdon Stones Standing Stones (Destroyed)
1 post
Curn Barrow Long Barrow (Destroyed)
1 post
Deadman's Burial Henge
2 posts
The Devil's Churchyard Enclosure
7 posts
Devil's Punchbowl Ancient Mine / Quarry
98 posts
Devil's Quoits Henge
1 post
Ditchley Park Long Barrow Long Barrow
2 posts
Dorchester Cursus Cursus
5 posts
Dorchester Neolithic Complex Henge (Destroyed)
45 posts
Dragon Hill Artificial Mound
1 post
Drayton Round Barrow(s)
3 posts
Drayton Cursus Cursus
3 posts
Drayton St Leonard Cursus
14 posts
Dyke Hills Dyke
1 post
Enstone Long Barrow Long Barrow (Destroyed)
1 post
Eynsham Causewayed Enclosure Causewayed Enclosure
2 posts
Eynsham Park Camp Hillfort
2 posts
Fifield Long Barrow
6 posts
Goddards Barn Barrow Round Barrow(s)
12 posts
Goose Stones Standing Stone / Menhir
6 posts
Greater Leys Standing Stone / Menhir
Green Wood Hillfort
8 posts
Grim's Ditch Dyke
1 post
Grim's Ditch Dyke
11 posts
Hackpen Hill (Oxfordshire) Round Barrow(s)
6 posts
Hagbourne Hill Round Barrow(s)
5 posts
Hangman's Stone Standing Stone / Menhir
24 posts
Hardwell Camp Hillfort
58 posts
Hawk Stone Standing Stone / Menhir
53 posts
The Hoar Stone Chambered Tomb
7 posts
The Hoar Stone I Chambered Tomb
5 posts
The Hoar Stone II Chambered Tomb
5 posts
Idbury Camp Hillfort
6 posts
Idlebush Barrow Barrow / Cairn Cemetery
7 posts
Ilbury Camp Hillfort
4 posts
Kingston Lisle Tumulus Round Barrow(s)
74 posts
The King Stone Standing Stone / Menhir
1 post
King Stone cairn Round Cairn
18 posts
Knollbury Camp Hillfort
1 post
Ladihame Corner Long Barrow Long Barrow
5 posts
Leafield Barrow Round Barrow(s)
3 posts
Lidstone Standing Stones Standing Stones
15 posts
Little Coxwell Camp Hillfort
4 posts
Lord Wantage Monument Barrow Round Barrow(s)
2 posts
Lowbarrow Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork
6 posts
Lowbury Hill Camp Sacred Hill
5 posts
Lyneham Camp Hillfort
37 posts
Lyneham Longbarrow Long Barrow
10 posts
Madmarston Hill Hillfort
1 post
Midsummer Wood Barrow Round Barrow(s)
1 post
Moss Hill Long Barrow (Destroyed)
1 post
Mount Farm Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork
9 posts
New Street Stone Standing Stone / Menhir
9 posts
Pewitt Farm Barrow Round Barrow(s)
7 posts
Pigtrough Bottom (top of) Round Barrow(s)
4 posts
Port Meadow Round Hill Round Barrow(s)
11 posts
Rams Hill Enclosure
226 posts
The Rollright Stones Stone Circle
1 post
Round Hill Long Barrow Long Barrow (Destroyed)
3 posts
Round Hill Mound Artificial Mound
19 posts
Scutchamer Knob Artificial Mound
29 posts
Segsbury Camp Hillfort
11 posts
Slatepits Copse Long Barrow Long Barrow
2 posts
Snivelling Corner Standing Stone / Menhir (Destroyed)
Swyncombe Downs Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork
2 posts
Tadmarton Heath Hillfort
24 posts
Thor Stone Standing Stone / Menhir
11 posts
Three Barrows Barrow / Cairn Cemetery
1 post
Tower Hill Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork
51 posts
Uffington Castle Hillfort
6 posts
Uffington Castle Long Mound Long Barrow
8 posts
Uffington Castle Round Barrow Round Barrow(s)
139 posts
Uffington White Horse Hill Figure
1 post
Waterman's Lodge Barrow Round Barrow(s)
195 posts
Wayland's Smithy Long Barrow
1 post
Well Ground Long Barrow Long Barrow
63 posts
The Whispering Knights Burial Chamber
1 post
Whitehouse Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork (Destroyed)
3 posts
Wyfold Castle Plateau Fort
1 post
Wytham Hill Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork
1 post
Yew Down Barrow Round Barrow(s)
Sites of disputed antiquity:
Cholsey Hill Round Barrow(s)
6 posts
Cup and Saucer Stone Standing Stone / Menhir
5 posts
Eynsham stone Standing Stone / Menhir
4 posts
Five Shilling Corner Stone Standing Stone / Menhir
3 posts
Goldbury Hill Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork
3 posts
Sparsholt Down (edge of) Round Barrow(s)
15 posts
Stonor Park Stone Circle

News

Add news Add news
Complete Neolithic Pot found in Didcot

Archaeologists working on a housing development in Oxfordshire claim to have found one of the oldest complete pots in the country (5,500 years old).

Nice photo at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-12698321
mascot Posted by mascot
11th March 2011ce

Ashmolean wins the Arts Fund Prize 2010


Ulster Museum came a close second (I'd have been happy to see it win). Even happier that the count has now been checked and verified and the wonderful Ashmolean has actually won.

http://www.artfundprize.org.uk/2010/vote/poll-results-final... continues...
tjj Posted by tjj
23rd June 2010ce
Edited 21st July 2010ce

The Ashmolean Transformed


The new Ashmolean Museum in Oxford was opened to the public last weekend 7/8th November.

Today, I had some spare time and as it was wet and windy it was a perfect day to visit. The ground floor is given over to the Ancient World. Unfortunately the European Prehistory room is not ready yet (I was told to give it another month)... continues...
tjj Posted by tjj
13th November 2009ce
Edited 15th November 2009ce

Oxford Reveals Bronze Age Site

Site of Bronze Age burial site found during dig in Oxford
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/oxfordshire/8336475.stm
ginger tt Posted by ginger tt
5th November 2009ce
Edited 5th November 2009ce

Images (click to view fullsize)

Add an image Add an image
Photographs:<b>Oxfordshire</b>Posted by Jane Artistic / Interpretive:<b>Oxfordshire</b>Posted by Chance <b>Oxfordshire</b>Posted by Jane

Links

Add a link Add a link

British History Online


Ancient Earthwork Types In Oxfordshire

Interesting reference material
ginger tt Posted by ginger tt
25th April 2012ce
Edited 25th April 2012ce

Hillforts of the Vale


Simple site showing the hill forts in and around the Vale Of The White Horse.
ginger tt Posted by ginger tt
3rd October 2009ce
Edited 14th November 2009ce

Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock


Fantastic place! See the oldest bread in Britain!
Jane Posted by Jane
31st August 2003ce

Latest posts for Oxfordshire

Showing 1-10 of 1,658 posts. Most recent first | Next 10

King Stone cairn (Round Cairn) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>King Stone cairn</b>Posted by thesweetcheat thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
8th August 2017ce

The Rollright Stones (Stone Circle) — Folklore

I don't understand how the traditional rhyme isn't already written here. So I don't apologise for the length of the following:
[...] Folklore and science, romance and archaeology, the unlearned and the learned, have all contributed answers [to the meaning of the stones]. From the folklore of the neighbourhood we have gleaned the story of the stones which has undoubtedly proved the most popular, and which will probably be attached to them as long as they stand. Indeed it is probable that if we searched the whole of England we should not find a site in which the folklore is a more living thing.

The story is well-enough known, but here it is:--
A certain King set out to conquer all England and had arrived at the head of his forces at the hill on which Rollright stands. He had almost reached its crest when a witch who claimed the ground appeared and stopped him with the words -

Seven long strides shalt thou take and
If Long Compton thou canst see
King of England thou shalt be.

Exulting greatly, thinking his victory assured, the King called out -

Stick, stock, stone,
As King of England I'll be known.

and took the seven long strides, when, lo! there arose before him a mound of earth, which at the completion of the strides prevented him from seeing the village of Long Compton below. The witch then pronounced the doom --

As Long Compton thou canst not see,
King of England thou shalt not be,
Rise up stick, stand still stone,
For King of England thou shalt be none.
Thou and thy men hoar stones shall be,
And I myself an eldern tree.

And so it came about.

[...] The elder is abundant all around the stones and several bushes have been pointed out as that embodying the witch. If you find the right one and cut it her blood oozes out, and the stones are seen to shiver, in an endeavour to come to life, for when the witch's blood is drawn her spell is broken and the King and his army will pursue their triumphant march.

On Midsummer eve, when the elder was in bloom it was formerly the custom for people to come to the King Stone and stand in a circle. Then an elder bush near by was cut and those present have affirmed that the King moved his head. The inhabitants of the district have, however, a dread of breaking the spell, and the writer was told, not so long ago, that those of Long Compton will not burn elder sticks in their grates.

The fairies dance round the King Stone of nights. One Will Hughes, of Long Compton, now gathered to his fathers, had seen them. They were little folk, he said, like little girls to look at. His wife's mother, who had been murdered as a witch, remembered a hole in the bank out of which the fairies came, and she and her playmates had often placed a flat stone over the opening to keep them in, but it had always been turned over before the morning. Folklore and religion blend in the attitude felt towards the spot and Sir Arthur Evans tells of a labourer who always went to the stones on Good Friday, for there he would be on Holy ground.

Away to the south-east on the edge of the large field in which the circle is situated, is a rather jumbled group of five large stones, called the Whispering Knights, which are said to be five treacherous officers who had detached themselves from the King's army and were plotting treason when the spell operated. They have their own particular piece of folklore and at midnight are said to run down the hill to drink at a spring in little Rollright spinney, every night according to some, only at special seasons according to others. At dusk, it is said, you can hear them whispering to each other.

Many of the stories attached to Rollright are to be found in other parts of Europe, and it is evident that we have in them something more than local superstition, but the subject is too great to be discussed here.

Another legend says that the stones become men at midnight, join hands and dance round in a circle and in Cornwall the name "Stone Dance" is attached to such circles as Rollright, the explanation there being that they are dancers turned to stone for dancing on the Sabbath.

[...] Rollright and its kindred circles were to the prehistoric people who erected and used them, places as sacred as our cathedrals and churches are to us to-day. That it should come, as it did yesterday afternoon, under the auctioneer's hammer in a public saleroom, would have filled our ancestors, could they have foreseen and understood such a contingency, with the same kind of horror we should feel if the same auctioneers were to offer Westminster Abbey to the highest bidder.
From an article in the Banbury Guardian, 30th June 1927.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
18th February 2017ce
Edited 19th February 2017ce

Blowing Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Links

Simon Chadwick (You Tube)


This is a very British (i.e. a somewhat awkward, but rather endearingly so) trumpeting of the stone. The besuited Mr Chadwick is an accomplished musician in his other videos, so it must be nice for him to add Blowing Stone to his list of instruments.

I was struck by how similar the sound is to the carnyx - like those on the Gundestrup cauldron (you can hear some on this video ) - or is that just me overthinking things :)
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
9th February 2017ce

Blowing Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Miscellaneous

Summary of Proceedings of the Bath Natural History and Antiquarian Field Club for the years 1865-6.
[...] The first [Excursion] of the season, to Wantage, the Berkshire White Horse, and Uffington, was a success in every way, due chiefly to the admirable arrangements made by Mr. Wasbrough for the transit and conveyance of the members. Under this gentleman's guidance the chief points of interest in the birth place of King Alfred were visited [...]. Leaving Wantage the members proceeded in carriages to the foot of the Downs, and essayed a blast upon the blowing stone (a mass of perforated silicious sandstone, said to have been formerly used for sounding an alarm over the neighbouring country).

The united efforts of all Bath were unable to produce a sound from the trumpet shaped hole. A native trumpeter, however, being found was more successful, and satisfied all present that when in its original place on the top of the Downs a most effective alarm could be raised.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
9th February 2017ce

Wayland's Smithy (Long Barrow) — Folklore

Mr Aubrey's account of it is this. "About a mile [or less] from the Hill [White-Horse Hill] there are a great many large stones, which though very confused, must yet be laid there on purpose. Some of them are placed edgwise, but the rest are so disorderly, that one would imagine, they were tumbled out of a cart."

The disorder which Mr Aubrey speaks of, is occasioned, by the people having thrown down some of the stones (for they all seem originally to have been set on edge) and broken them to pieces to mend their highways. Those that are left, enclose a piece of ground of an irregular figure at present, but which formerly might have been an oblong square, extending duly North and South.

On the eastside of the Southern extremity, stand Three Squarish flat stones of about four or five feet over each way, set on edge, and supporting a Fourth of much larger dimensions, lying flat upon them. These altogether form a Cavern or sheltering place.

[...] All the account, which the country people are able to give of it, is "At this place lived formerly an invisible Smith; and if a traveller's Horse had lost a Shoe upon the road, he had no more to do, than to bring the Horse to this place, with a piece of money, and leaving both there for some little time, he might come again and find the money gone, but the Horse now shod." The stones standing upon the Rudge way as it is called; (which was the situation, that they chose for burial monuments) I suppose, gave occasion to the whole being called WAYLAND-SMITH; which is the name it was always known by to the country people.
From 'A letter to Dr Mead' by Francis Wise (1738).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
27th September 2016ce

Uffington White Horse (Hill Figure) — Miscellaneous

After this manner our Horse is formed, on the side of an high and steep hill, facing the North west. His dimensions are extended over an acre of ground, or thereabouts: his Head, Neck, Body and Tail, consist of one white line; as does also each of his Four Legs. This is done by cutting a trench into the chalk, of about two or three feet deep, and about ten feet broad. The Chalk of the trench being of a brighter colour, than the turf which surrounds it, the rays of the afternoon's Sun darting upon it makes the whole figure visible for ten or a dozen, nay fifteen miles, if I am rightly informed.

The Horse at first view is enough to raise the admiration of every curious spectator, being designed in so masterlike a manner, that it may defy the painter's skill, to give a more exact description of that animal: which were it not so apparent, would hardly gain belief with an antiquary, who considers to how low an ebb the art of drawing was sunk at that time; as appears from the works of their best makers, the Saxon coins, and the jewel of King Alfred, described by Dr Hickes and others, and now preserved in the Museum at Oxford.

If we consider it further, we must otherwise allow, that no small skill in Opticks was requisite, both for the choice of the ground, and for disposing rude lines, as they appear to a person on the spot, in such a manner, as to form so beautiful a representation.

And again, if durability was intended, the ingenuity of the artist will appear still greater. For from its barren soil, and steep situation, it has nothing to fear from the inroads of the plough, the grazing of larger cattle, or the stagnation of waters; all of which contribute more or less to efface things of this sort.

When I saw it, the Head had suffered a little, and wanted reparation; and the extremities of his hinder legs from their unavoidable situation, have by the fall of rains been filled up in some measure with the washings of the upper parts; so that in the nearest view of him, the Tail, which does not suffer the same inconvenience, and has continued entire from the beginning, seems longer than his legs. The supplies which nature is continually affording, occasion the turf on the upper verge of his body, for want of continuity, to crumble, and fall off into the white trench, which in many years time produces small specks of turf, and not a little obscures the brightness of the Horse.

Though there is no danger from hence of the whole figure being obliterated; yet the neighbouring inhabitants have a custom of Scouring the Horse, as they call it; at which time a solemn festival is celebrated, and manlike games with prizes exhibited, which no doubt had their original in the Saxon times, in memory of the victory.

This falling of the turf into the trench is the reason likewise, why the country people erroneously imagine, that the Horse, since his first fabrication, has shifted his quarters, and is got higher upon the Hill, than formerly.
Francis Wise, who is convinced it's all down to the Saxons (and unfairly rubbishes the latter's drawing skills to compound his error), in 'A letter to Dr Mead concerning some antiquities in Berkshire' (1738).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
27th September 2016ce
Edited 28th September 2016ce

Wayland's Smithy (Long Barrow) — Images

<b>Wayland's Smithy</b>Posted by Rhiannon<b>Wayland's Smithy</b>Posted by Rhiannon Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
27th September 2016ce

Dragon Hill (Artificial Mound) — Folklore

Between the Ickleton-way and White-horse-hill, under the Horse, stands a large Barrow, which the common people living hereabouts, call DRAGON-HILL, and they have a tradition, that "Here St George killed the Dragon." The Horse too is brought into the Legend, as belonging to that Saint, who is usually pictured on Horse-back. They shew besides a bare place on the top of it, which is a plain of about forty or fifty yards over, where the turf, I don't know by what means, can gain no footing; which they imagine proceeds "from the venemous blood that issued from the Dragon's wound."
Francis Wise: 'A letter to Dr Mead concerning some antiquities in Berkshire' (1738).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
27th September 2016ce

The Rollright Stones (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

Visited (again) 29.8.16

It's funny how sometimes fate lends a hand and you end up being back at a place a lot sooner than expected!

Following an overnight stop in Northamptonshire (to visit a couple of English Heritage sites) I had planned to take a different route home but fate (or my poor map reading!) led us past the Rollright Stones again.

Dafydd was happy with this as he stayed in the car yesterday as he was having a bit of a 'temper tantrum'. Once he had calmed down he really wanted to see the circle but by them we were miles away heading north.

This time we first crossed the road to see the Kings Stone (I told him the story) and then back to the stone circle. Luck was on our side again as most people were either on their way back to their cars or heading over to the Whispering Knights. There were only a couple of people at the circle. I showed Dafydd the entrance and we walked anti-clockwise around the circle (why do I always seem to go anti-clockwise when walking around a stone circle?)

The sun was still shining and despite a few more fluffy white clouds in evidence the weather was even warmer than yesterday. The added bonus was there was no 'boom, boom, boom' to be heard! Wlaking around I spotted many coins pushed into various holes and several ribbons tied to the branches of nearby trees.

It was an unexpected treat to be back so soon. It goes to show - you never kniow................. :)
Posted by CARL
30th August 2016ce
Showing 1-10 of 1,658 posts. Most recent first | Next 10