A new attraction which offers visitors the chance to experience life as an Iron Age villager opens this weekend. The Cinderbury settlement near Coleford in the Forest of Dean, includes several roundhouses, an iron smelting furnace, pottery kiln and clay-domed bread oven... continues...
Gloucester Archaeology Unit is threatened with closure. Gloucester City council are currently considering a number of ways to save money for next year, and the Archaeology Unit is a prime target... continues...
There are two round barrows here (you'll have to look carefully though, as they are less than half a metre high), set close to the crest of a hill, and they were found to conceal some interesting burials. The smr record on 'Magic' says:
One of these barrows was partially excavated in 1847, when eight skeletons were found, lying in seven stone-lined graves arranged in a circle around the circumference of the mound. One of the skeletons was accompanied by a spearhead. Three feet below the top of the mound was another skeleton. Finds from the barrow included about 30 yellow glass and amber beads, several iron spearheads, a shield boss, a saucer-brooch, the decorative plates from three brooches, silver earrings and a bronze ring. The site was re examined in 1869 by Playne, who claimed that the centre portion of the barrow was undisturbed,
and reported finding charcoal, bones, potsherds and worked flints at ground level.
This doesn't really enlighten us as to when the burials were made? It sounds rather like reuse of a bronze-age barrow?
What's it like living in an Iron Age village? How did they keep warm and make tools? Did they live more rewarding lives? A re-created Iron Age village [at Cinderbury] allows visitors to stay and find out.
The above wonderful mass of old red sandstone conglomerate, which was celebrated all through Britain as a rocking stone and Druidic altar, it will be remembered, was accidentally thrown from its position on the summit of a high wooded hill, about three miles from Monmouth, on the road to Coleford, on the 10th of June last. Not only were the people of the immediate neighbourhood indignant, but the London daily papers took the matter up very warmly, the Standard especially.
The huge mass is the property of the Crown, and is too well-known far and wide to again need description in these columns. As soon as he heard of the catastrophe, Mr. C. H. Crompton-Roberts, of Drybridge House, Monmouth, offered £100 towards its restoration. The Mayor of Monmouth and others put themselves in communication with the Crown authorities, who ultimately determined to restore the celebrated rock at the entire expense of the Crown.
The undertaking was one of great difficulty, the huge mass having its chief block, about 50 tons weight, turned upside down, and partly buried in the earth. The enormous top slab, or stratum, had slipped off and fallen beyond the chief block, but right side up.
Messrs. Payne and Son, stone contractors, of Lambsquay House, Coleford, were appointed to carry out the work. The contractors erected two enormous cranes and a powerful crab on the hill above the fallen rock. Then large baulks of timber were placed with the ends under the chief block, and iron rails were laid on these baulks. About six tons of chains were attached to the chief block for the purpose of "skidding" it up to a position for turning, which, after a considerable time, was accomplished. The top stratum was then hoisted adjacent to the chief stone, and the large corner was also brought to a convenient position. This was the work of months.
A plateau for the stone to rest on was then made, with an enormous iron bar let into the solid rock beneath, a bed of cement made of the best material, mixed with similar stone to the Buckstone ground up, having been prepared. The top slab was then raised into its position, being cemented and cramped on, and the corner was afterwards affixed by the same means.
The result is that the work is now completed in a most satisfactory and highly creditable manner. The rock, when the cranes, &c. are removed, will, as it now stands, scarcely, if at all, appear to have sustained any alteration, especially from the road below. Mr K. Tudor Williams, photographer, of Monmouth, has shown us some photographs of the Buckstone both before and after the overthrow and in the course of being lifted. We understand that the rock will be railed round, to prevent future mishap, and that an opening will be cut between the rock and the road, so as to afford a good view of the Buckstone to those who pass by.
(ST 5776 9723) Broad Stone (NR) (1) A standing stone, 8 1/2ft high, 1 1/4' thick, and 5 1/2' wide at the base tapering to a point at the apex (see M XI (a)). Its position, on the severn alluvium and facing the river, is unusual, and it may well have marked a crossing at this point. Bradeston (1269 Minn Acct): le Brodestone 1320 Ass.). (2-3)
The standing stone at ST 5776 9724 measures 2.7m high by 3.5m wide at the base, tapering to a point and 0.16m thick. A few packing stones are visible around the base. See GP. Published survey (25") correct. (4)
(SP 17242581) Whittlestone or Whistlestone (NR) (Site of) (1) The Whistlestone was probably the last remnant of a burial-chamber as human bones were found beneath it in the mid-19th century. (2) (SP 17322529) Removed to the vicarage paddock.
A much weathered irregular-shaped stone 1.4m by 1.0m and 0.4m thick stands at SP 17302534 in the NW corner of the vicarage paddock. The vicar confirms that this is the stone known as the Whittlestone. Surveyed at 1:2500. Stone moved c.1978 to outside the village hall. (3-6)
(ST 85199537) (1). Two possible megaliths in a ploughed field. One measures about 6 ft by 4 1/2 ft, and its upper surface is level with the ground. The other measures about 6 ft by 5 1/2 ft by 1 1/2 ft thick, and protrudes from the ground at one end. There is no trace of a mound, but there are several large stones in the covert wall opposite. (1-2)
Three moss-covered recumbent stones, the largest being 1.4m by 1.1m by 0.2m, have been used recently as a base for a field clearance heap. There is no trace of a mound but the position, on the lip of a dry valley, is a typical site for a long barrow in this area. Position surveyed at 1:2500 at ST 85189540. (3)
(ST 81189467) Megaliths. (1) Megaliths in, and close to, a field boundary. There is an upright stone partly built into the wall on the north side, its upper end being free. It is about 3 ft 4 in in height, 1 ft 5 in wide and 7 in thick. South of the wall lies a large stone 4 ft 7 in long and 3 ft 4 in. in breadth, partly embedded in earth. Two other very large stones are built into the north side of the wall west of the upright, and several more occur which are larger than usual for wall construction. There are indications that the wall at this point stands on a slight elevation. (Possible site of barrow). (2)
ST 81179467 The erect stone is as described by Crook and Tratman. See G P. The stone to the south of the wall was not located, neither could the other two 'very large' stones be identified. Both the adjoining fields at this point are under plough, and there is no evidence of a mound here, either in the fields or in the alignment of the wall. Surveyed at 1:2500. (3) The site of the Bronze Age standing stones and possible barrow referred to above (1) were viewed on available aerial photographs as part of The Cotswold Hills NMP survey but no mound or stones were identified. (4)
(ST877999) Approximate site of Cobstone (1). Said by Playne to have been a remarkably fine standing stone which formerly lay on the edge of Minchinhampton Common due west of the Longstone (ST 89 NE 34) and due north of the Picked Stone (ST 89 NE 30). It was removed about 1835 for building purposes. (1-2)
(ST 819 923) Stone (NAT) (1) (ST 81959237) Stone (NAT) (2) Megalith on a barrow. (3)
Megalith standing on a circular mound 15ft in diameter by 3ft high. The stone, of much-weathered oolite, stands with its long axis approx N to S, and slightly to the E of the centre of the mound. It is 7ft high by 5ft wide at the base, tapering towards the top and 6 in thick. The stone stands at the end of a vista, and may have been moved from its original position, a view held by some of the Boxwell estate workers. Another elderly employee; however, believed the site to be sepulchral, and could not remember the stone being moved. (4) The Directory (a) describes a barrow at Boxwell, "whereon is a large upright stone above 6ft high", and there is little doubt that this refers to the megalith surrounded by traces of a barrow (probably round) beside the road to Boxwell House. (5) It is possible that this feature and the nearby mound (ST 89 SW24) were originally part of a single long barrow. (6)
This stone has clearly been moved and it now stands at ST 81959238 some 10.0m SW of its original position. It stands at the position shown in the photograph (authority 4) ie atop a small mound 5.0m in diameter and 1.0m in height.
The Kellys Directory entry of 1856 states that the stone was on a barrow so the inference is that either the mound was considerably larger at that date, large enough to accommodate a move of 10.0m, or the stone stood at the edge of the barrow in the manner of a peristalith. In either case the identity as a barrow remains; only the true nature of the stone is in doubt. (7) The standing stone and barrow referred to above (1-7) were not visible on aerial photographs viewed as part of The Cotswold Hills NMP survey. This stone and barrow may be related to the stone and long mound recorded to the northwest (Monument Number 209203). (8)