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

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Pen y Gadair Fawr (Round Cairn) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Pen y Gadair Fawr</b>Posted by thesweetcheat

Mynydd Pen-y-Fal (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Mynydd Pen-y-Fal</b>Posted by thesweetcheat

Ysgyryd Fawr (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Ysgyryd Fawr</b>Posted by thesweetcheat

Carn Blorenge (Round Cairn) — Images

<b>Carn Blorenge</b>Posted by thesweetcheat

Rhiw Arw (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Rhiw Arw</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Rhiw Arw</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Rhiw Arw</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Rhiw Arw</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Rhiw Arw</b>Posted by thesweetcheat

Wiral Cairn, Black Mountains (Round Cairn) — Images

<b>Wiral Cairn, Black Mountains</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Wiral Cairn, Black Mountains</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Wiral Cairn, Black Mountains</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Wiral Cairn, Black Mountains</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Wiral Cairn, Black Mountains</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Wiral Cairn, Black Mountains</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Wiral Cairn, Black Mountains</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Wiral Cairn, Black Mountains</b>Posted by thesweetcheat

Black Darren (Round Cairn) — Images

<b>Black Darren</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Black Darren</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Black Darren</b>Posted by thesweetcheat

Pen-Twyn Camp (Crucorney) (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Pen-Twyn Camp (Crucorney)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Pen-Twyn Camp (Crucorney)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Pen-Twyn Camp (Crucorney)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Pen-Twyn Camp (Crucorney)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Pen-Twyn Camp (Crucorney)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Pen-Twyn Camp (Crucorney)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Pen-Twyn Camp (Crucorney)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Pen-Twyn Camp (Crucorney)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Pen-Twyn Camp (Crucorney)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Pen-Twyn Camp (Crucorney)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat

Walterstone Camp (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Walterstone Camp</b>Posted by thesweetcheat

Ysgyryd Fawr (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Ysgyryd Fawr</b>Posted by thesweetcheat

Twyn y Gaer Camp (Crucorney) (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Twyn y Gaer Camp (Crucorney)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat

Henley Bank (Round Barrow(s)) — Images

<b>Henley Bank</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Henley Bank</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Henley Bank</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Henley Bank</b>Posted by thesweetcheat

Churchdown Hill (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Images

<b>Churchdown Hill</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Churchdown Hill</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Churchdown Hill</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Churchdown Hill</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Churchdown Hill</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Churchdown Hill</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Churchdown Hill</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Churchdown Hill</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Churchdown Hill</b>Posted by thesweetcheat

Leckhampton Hill (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Leckhampton Hill</b>Posted by thesweetcheat

Henley Bank (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Leaving Churchdown Hill by its southeastern slopes, the M5 and various fast-moving main roads now occupy much of the low-lying plain below (18.1.2015).

This barrow is one of very few surviving prehistoric sites below the Cotswolds escarpment. Although there are plenty of examples in various states of disrepair up on the limestone plateau, most of the barrows down in the vale of the Severn have long-ago succumbed to the ravages of agriculture, or they simply never existed.

I've never made it here before, as the combination of A-Road and muddy fields that provide the surrounding landscape look unappealing enough on a map. But the long-awaited visit to Churchdown makes this an obvious enough pairing.

I approach from Brockworth Road to the west. The OS 1/25000 shows a footpath skirting the fields alongside the A417, but when I get to the relevant spot there's no signpost. I take my chance and follow the route around the field edge. This is yet another of those fields of clinging clay that the farms round here specialise in. It's not too bad on the field edge, but at length I get to the point where the map shows the path cutting northeast across the field towards the little wood where the barrow lies. Although only a couple of hundred yards, I seem to have picked up a large proportion of the field's surface by the time I make it to the woodland verge.

From here it's easier going, a narrow track running alongside the woodland. At the northern corner, a very welcoming post informs me that access to the wood is permitted by the landowner, so getting to the barrow is straightforward as long as the vegetation is kind.

The barrow is near the northern edge of the wood. When I get to it, I'm relieved to find it has not been planted. The woodland itself is young, and a space for the barrow has clearly been left open. The barrow itself is rather disappointing, almost flattened and only really obvious as a mound when viewed from the south. However, the woodland setting is really rather nice. The nearby road doesn't intrude and I can imagine that in spring the new growth in the canopy will make for a very pretty spot.

Despite its relatively poor state, the barrow was rich with finds. Gloucestershire HER mentions 14 worked flints and "a fossilised burrow from a marine boring bivalve that had probably been reused as a bead".

I leave through Primrose Vale Farm to the east, realising as I do that access to the woods is possible - and signposted - directly from the farm shop, so if you're coming by car, this is the way to come (there's a car park at the farm shop).

It's not the best barrow you'll ever see, but the rarity of a site in this low-lying landscape makes it worth the effort in itself, with the tranquility of the surrounding woods an added bonus.

Churchdown Hill (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Fieldnotes

One of two unvisited sites within walking distance of my house, this has niggled and nagged away at me for a few years now. So a beautiful January Sunday (18.1.2015) finally gets me off the sofa to go and have a proper look.

The walk up from Churchdown is straightforward enough, passing the wonderfully named "Criftycraft Lane" on my way. At Churchdown Green the ice makes the tarmac suddenly treacherous, but thankfully it's a short enough bit of uphill skating.

Below the church, the lane is bordered on its right by what appears to be a large bank, the sort of thing that could suggest an inturned entrance to an Iron Age site. However, it could just be a natural crease in the hillside. Overgrown with brambles and scrub, it's not easy to investigate much further.

The lane opens out to a vista of green banks. Not anything ancient unfortunately, just the grassed sides of one of several reservoirs that now fill the centre of the hilltop. Along with quarrying, these may well have destroyed much chance of establishing its prehistoric origins. Round the corner, the church is very striking, perched on top of a huge mound - natural? Hmm.

The corner of the churchyard looks out over the Severn plain with the steep Cotswold escarpment forming its eastern edge. I can count more than half a dozen Iron Age forts and settlements visible from here, with more yet on the Malverns ridge over to the northwest.

Leaving the churchyard and its super-friendly cat familiar, a little gate leads onto a footpath circumnavigating the rim of the hilltop. I'm soon into an area of hideous Cotswold mud, the kind that clings to your boots and adds several pounds. The ground drops fairly steeply, and there appears to be a slight embankment along the top, perhaps suggesting some counterscarping has taken place.

Round to the west the walk would be lovely, under a spacious canopy of deciduous woodland, if it weren't for the continuing hindrance of the mud underfoot. The highest part of the hill is at the southwestern corner, up a slope of particularly slippery mud. Here a toposcope points out the distant Black Mountains, as if their bright white snow covering were not enough today.

The southern side of the hill is the steepest, and there is no obvious sign of anything that could be a man-made or enhanced earthwork here . It is a lovely spot though, as the sun filters through the slender pine trees.

Although nothing about the visit today confirms categorically whether there was a fort here, it would certainly be a fine spot for one, with tremendous visibility in all directions and natural defences from its steep slopes. Iron Age finds have turned up within the site and I'm inclined to believe it more likely than not that it would have been occupied and probably fortified too.

With one itch finally scratched, from here I head off to another one.

Corn Du (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Corn Du</b>Posted by thesweetcheat
Showing 1-50 of 8,928 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
"The fleeting hour of life of those who love the hills is quickly spent, but the hills are eternal. Always there will be the lonely ridge, the dancing beck, the silent forest; always there will be the exhilaration of the summits. These are for the seeking, and those who seek and find while there is still time will be blessed both in mind and body." Alfred Wainwright

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