Bit of a belated post, from This Is Somerset website:
The Iron Age inhabitants of Somerset's Avalon Marshes might have thought prehistoric architects were at work if they could see designs for the striking thatched visitor centre proposed for their old homeland.
A 5,000-year-old flint axe head has been found in a garden in Somerset (England). Andrew Witts made the rare prehistoric discovery while landscaping his garden at Creech St Michael near Taunton. Mr Witts said: "I knew I had found something unusual when I noticed the object had a polished surface, but I never thought it would be that... continues...
The site of archaeological remains which are thought to date back thousands of years has been saved from development. An area occupied by a Scheduled Ancient Monument was at risk of being turned into a small housing estate on the edge of Highbridge and West Huntspill in Somerset... continues...
Lewis,J., 2009. The long barrows and long mounds of West Mendip. UBSS Proceedings, 24(3) , pp 187-206
Abstract: This article considers the evidence for Early Neolithic long barrow construction on the West Mendip plateau, Somerset. It highlights the difficulties in assigning long mounds a classification on surface evidence alone and discusses a range of earthworks which have been confused with long barrows. Eight possible long barrows are identified and their individual and group characteristics are explored and compared with national trends. Gaps in the local distribution of these monuments are assessed and it is suggested that areas of absence might have been occupied by woodland during the Neolithic. The relationship between long barrows and later round barrows is also considered.
Short video from the Museum of Somerset showing some of the gold objects found in the county. Steve Minnitt presents a torc found near Yeovil, an amazingly intricate and fine ring-shaped Thing, and the 17 gold objects untangled from the hoard buried at Priddy.
Underneath a natural bower, on the bank of the lowest rampart but one, is a small arch of stone, covering a well of clearest water, fed by a spring that never in the fiercest drought runs dry. The overflowing stream makes a small pond below, but the well itself is almost out of sight under overhanging bushes, in the shadow of the north side of the hill.
This is King Arthur's Well. A miraculous fountain, into the depths of which you may still peer and see things strange and wonderful. In a basin, some two feet deep, the sheltered water, never moved by wind, lies still and pure as a transparent magic crystal.
[...] The well is also a wishing well. It was a picnic day when I was there - and to see the country maids trip down the foot-worn path between the trees, big and little, plump and lean, all in white frocks, and treading upon each other's heels, was better than a day-dream, ever so much. And they did drink. If they only wished as hard as they drank, there was a determination about it which, with a little patience and good-temper, and no fortune but a pretty face, was bound to bring success.
There is a ceremony with this sort of thing. Each spread her "hankercher" upon the broad, flat stone beside the well, turned up her white skirt, knelt, both nees, upon a petticoat as white, leant over the water and dropped an offering in, dipped with her hand and drank out of her hollow palm. She rose and gazed into the future with what, in the best fiction, is called a wistful, far-off look, until the next girl promptly elbowed her aside and said,
It was a Sunday School and Bible Class that I saw intoxicate itself with the secret desire of its own heart. The "titcher" stood on one side. A spinster, tall, thin, sharp-featured, and born, upon a moderate computation, not later than the early sixties. Through a pair of glasses, she watched this pagan rite, smiling with an air of superior toleration upon such follies, because it was a holiday. The bigger girls implored her to drink, too. "Now do ee, Miss ---," they all said. (In view of what came after, the name shall never be revealed by me.) "Do ee, then." But persuasion could not move her. She was a total abstainer, and would not touch a drop; and, presently, the girls all went off up the glade, she marching in the rear.
Soon an unaccountable thing happened. That woman came back, quickly, glancing behind and upon each side, to make sure no one saw. She dared not lift her skirt. She had not time to kneel. But she took a tumbler out of her pocket; plunged it in the spring; leaned forward as she held it dripping to her lips, and swallowed half-a-pint. Ah! She did not merely wish to quench her thirst. That is incredible, since there was tea upon the hill.
By Walter Raymond, in 'The Idler Out of Doors: Camelot' - The Idler, November 1898.
A standing stone known as "The Devil's Stone" was alleged to be of prehistoric origin. Field investigation found the massive quartz block measuring 2.1m long, 1.2m wide and 1.65m high and due to its proximity to a quarry thought it more likely to be of medieval date or later.
The Somerset SMR (No: 33497) records a standing stone of uncertain date from field name evidence (`Hour Stone' on Tithe Map) and local tradition. (1)
At SS 91427 38665 in an improved pasture field immediately adjacent to a massive limestone quarry (SS 93 NW 57) is a massive quartz block. The stone measures 2.1 m long, 1.2 m wide and is 1.65 m high. The farmer states that the local name for the stone is `The Devil's Stone' and that tradition links it to the Devil hurling material from Dunkery Beacon.
The stone appears unlikely to be prehistoric in origin. Its close proximity to the limestone quarry suggests rather a medieval, or more likely early post-medieval origin.
(Incorrectly plotted on NMR 1:10,000 record sheet) (2)
Not a visit to where the Lake Village was but a visit to the museum in Glastonbury where some of the finds from the excavations are held.
The museum is upstairs in the Tribunal House in the centre of Glastonbury. This is an English Heritage sites which doubles up as a tourist information office.
There are several information boards with may finds in glass cases including pottery, metalwork, weaving worles, items made from bone etc. However, the prize item is found in a separate building in the back garden. This is where the oak log boat is found. It is well preserved and certainly something you don't see very often. It is worth the admission price to see the boat alone.
Well worth a visit when in the wonderfully eccentric Glastonbury! :)
A short distance north of The Deerleap Standing Stones – either side of the minor road.
Park in the large (free) car park on the brow of the hill. Short walk from there.
I found the barrow on the North West side of the road (A). It is adjacent to a stone field wall amongst an area of rough, overgrown ‘waste ground. There is a ‘path’ running adjacent to the wall and it makes a tell-tale small ‘up and over’ what I assume to be the barrow? Otherwise I doubt I would have spotted the barrow.
Unfortunately I could find no trace of the second barrow on the South East side of the road (B). The field it is in was full of sheep and is quite uneven. There was nothing I could see which was an obvious barrow. I did see an area of rough stones which I assumed was natural. Perhaps this was the barrow?
Barrow (A) – The barrow mound is 9m in diameter and 1.5m in height. The northern third of the barrow has been reduced by ploughing and is 0.5m high. A drystone wall crosses the barrow mound.
Barrow (B) – A Barrow mound 18m in diameter and 2m high. A large central depression may be the result of a partial excavation or stone quarrying.
As Ravenfeather states the best place to park is in the car park for Ebbor Gorge (free). Walk up the hill and you will come to a double wooden stile on your left. The stones are visible from the stiles on your right. Easy access – as long as you are able to manage a stile! The stones are shown on the Natural England map I picked up for Ebbor Gorge.
We were heading home after spending the day in Glastonbury (birthday treat for Karen) and I was keen to pay these stones a visit. The sun was still high in the sky and white fluffy clouds skimmed across a dark blue sky. However, the cold wind reminded you we were still in spring. Myself, Dafydd and Sophie walked across the field to the stones and the first thing that strikes you is the wonderful view across the Somerset Levels over towards Glastonbury. I pointed out the Tor to the children in the distance which they seemed impressed by – although Sophie wasn’t impressed enough to climb the Tor earlier in the day. I believe the words she used were ‘There is no way I am walking up there………!’.
The first stone you come to is the smaller of the two. This stone is approximately 1 metre high. The second stone is perhaps 1.3 metres high. A half-decomposed bunch of tulips had been left at the base of the stone. The children sat on top of the stones and we all admired the view.
If you are visiting Ebbor Gorge it is well worth the short walk to seek out these stones. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to visit the Gorge but I will definitely return to put that right. This is a very pretty place and deserves a prolonged visit.