After a respectful mooch around Mayburgh and King Arthur's Round Table we headed for the site of The Little Table. To aid in our quest we were armed with the SMR summary and a copy of the Magic map.
We turned off the A6 and passed the Lowther gatehouse to be confronted by a thigh-high carpet of thick foliage on the side of the road where the ditch was supposed to be. Tip – wear don't wear short trousers as I did, this is nettle country.
Apparently the henge was destroyed by a combination of the construction of the Lowther gatehouse and road and the meanderings of the River Lowther. The SMR states "The monument is located on a comparatively flat alluvial terrace between an escarpment to the west and the steep slope of the River Lowther to the east". The Magic Map placed it just past the gatehouse on the lazy right-hand bend in the road.
We found the ditch sure enough but we weren't sure whether it was a regular roadside ditch or part of the henge, so to be sure we clambered all around the wood, up the track to the higher ground, along the road, basically we looked everywhere to make sure that we had the right feature. We then returned to the ditch. Stu drew the short straw and clambered through the nettle beds whilst I took the easier route along the margins of the road. We soon sussed-out that the ditch was a short arc that began and finished at the road, we had found our ditch. I paced the length of the ditch and it came out at about 33 paces. For further confirmation, this portion of the road is the only part of the road that is fenced. The fence begins and ends where the ditch lays, we presumed this was part of the protection of what's left of the monument.
So if you're visiting the site, look for the fence on the right hand side of the road, a few yards past the gatehouse. There is a track halfway along the fence, this track bisects the ditch and reveals what's left of the profile as can be seen in Stubob's photo http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/post/29777. Don't expect to see too much but be happy in the knowledge that at least something remains of the third henge.
The question of whether anything had survived of the Little Round Table had been eating away at Fitz and me for yonks.
So when we discovered the NMR still listed the henge as having a small surviving section of the bank and ditch; we made it our first port of call.
Behind a wire fence, the remains of a 4m wide shallow ditch stretch for around 30m in length. And although it's nothing too impressive, it was a buzz to finally get to see it.
From Lowther bridge head down the narrow road passed Lowther Lodge for approximately 40m. The earthwork can be seen in trees to the right of the road.
The fragmentary earthwork remains of a possible henge monument, one of three such earthwork enclosures (see also NY 52 NW 2 and 12) clustered in close proximity on the narrow interfluve between the rivers Eamont and Lowther. The earthworks were surveyed by RCHME in 1988. The fragmentary remains comprise a barely discernible scarp on the northern perimeter of the site, and discontinuous traces of a low earthen bank with some stone visible along the southern perimeter. When projected into a full circle, these fragments suggest an enclosure of circa 90 metres in diameter across its banks. The remainder of the site is severely mutilated by buildings, tracks and roads. William Stukeley sketched the site in 1725, depicting it as a roughly circular enclosure circa 90 metres in diameter with, perhaps significantly, a bank with outer ditch. No entrance is apparent, although in 1790, Pennant seems to have recorded one in the north east sector. Some excavation was undertaken in 1939 by G Bersu. No dating evidence was recovered, and one of his three trenches failed to locate the ditch. However, the possibility that it may in fact have located an entrance seems to have been confirmed by geophysical survey in 1988. If so, this entrance is roughly in the position recorded by Pennant. The site is scheduled. Its identification as a henge is unconfirmed, the principal problems being lack of dating evidence from the excavations, and the internal bank. However, its topographical position, and its proximity to two other broadly similar enclosures, suggest that it should be viewed as broadly contemporary, even if it fails to conform to current definitions of henge monuments.