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

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Oaken Grove (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

I've visited the two 'barrows' in Oaken grove wood in 1996 to find:

There is a small layby to park. Follow the footpath into the wood.

The first barrow which I called the west barrow is shrouded in bushes however the ditch is still visable. On my visits the ditch of this barrow was water logged.
The ditch is broken by two causeways opposite each other .

The summit of this squat mound has a deppression in the centre. Suggesting it may have had excavations in the past. The record of Buck suggests it was done in Tudor times.

The second barrow at the east is much more impressive looking very similar to a Norman motte. It has a shallow ditch with the same two causeways. The summit has been dug out to a deeper level.

Intresting point is that small pieces of red tile are scattered down the side of the mound, some can be seen in the ditch. A building with a tiled roof presumably existed on top of the mound. The records of Bucks records that the mounds are Saxon Block houses to defend against the danish threat.

The earthwork of Grim's Ditch passes a few feet south of both mounds. A third mound exists west in the field across the road. In the grounds of Hampden House.

Moneybury Hill Barrows (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Two barrows can be seen within a few minutes walk of each other.

The first presumed barrow is detectable on the grass lawn directly in front of the Bridgewater monument. The barrow here is virtually destroyed as it exists simply as a bump about 20 feet across and a few inches high. A better view of it can be obtained if you can go up the tower.(Bridgewater monument)
The other barrow is about a few minutes walk north of the Bridgewater monument. Its just left of the path and far more obvious. It sits on the side of the hill with several trees growing upon it. Oddly it can be stepped onto from the path side but is quite steep on the opposite side. A huge deppression in it's center tells that it was dug out in the past. No ditch exists that can be detected.
For barrow enthusiasts it's not bad and a nice walk.

Cholesbury Camp (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

Cholesbury Hill fort.

Situated in the village of Cholesbury on the north side, a late iron age plateau fort exists.Termed a plateau fort as it lies on level ground.
Known locally as the Danes camp.
Excavated in 1932 by Mr Day kimble, He surmised that the main occupation is dated to the 2nd and 1st Centuries BC.
The site was in use prior to that in the earlier Iron age as a more cruder hand made pottery was found.
Pottery evidence suggests the site continued into the Roman period as some samian was found in some of the hearths.
The excavations cut into the banks and ditches in several places and a trench was cut across the middle of the interior to determine any occupation.

The defences:
The main defences of this oval fort contains 11 acres.
Three quarters of the defences are intact but has been destroyed nearest the village.
The destroyed defences that were filled -in can still be detected in the gardens of the grange and the priory.
In most places where the bank is complete it rises 13 feet above the bottom of the ditch in a 'V'shape.
The opposite bank being almost of equal height.
The bank and ditch was constucted in the Glacis fashion, meaning that the steepness of the bank was deemed sufficient defence.
A second bank and ditch was under construction but never was completed.
This second defence which is inferior circles approximatly half of the primary defence.
Duel defences have been thought to be a defence against sling warfare which came into fashion late in the Iron age.

The gate:
No definable gate remains today, it is presumed to be at the entance to the church which sits inside the defences of the fort(St Lawrence).
There are gaps in the banks but none are defined as a gate..

The interior:
Two ponds exist within the fort. One of ponds nearest the church is known as holy pond and is said to never dry up, presumed to fed by a spring.
Seven hearths were found when Day Kimble cut a trench across the interior.
Some of the hearthes contained pottery suggesting cooking fires.
A portion of the hearthes contained Iron slag (Fayalite magnetite) with hard baked clay earth.
It is presumed that some of the hearths were smelting hearths. These smelting hearths tended to be near the revetment or the back of the defences.
The cooking hearths concentrated nearer the centre of the fort.
Of the finds in the Alylesbury museum. A piece of Nieder mendig lava was found which was thought to be a piece of a quern stone.
A near complete cooking pot was found next to one of the hearths..
The interior of the fort was under the plough until the last war then reverted to pasture so no features exist above ground.

Mr Day kimble suggested that the site was in existance prior to new race or tribe taking over.
Crude handmade pottery dating to the earlier Iron age was supaseded by a superior wheel thrown pottery. This is the time the defences went up.
The defences could have been put up to defend an important resourse.
Iron smelting.. The immediate area has a vast resourse of limestone which is the flux ingriedient in Iron production.
The site is likend to an industrial site in the production of Iron artifacts.
Other sites in the area are associated with the production of Iron.
Brays wood moated site close by has evidence of iron smelting..
Some names exist in the region that hint of a wider iron smelting industry.
Ashley green, cindery wood, kings ash and ashridge are all very close to Cholsbury

Boddington Hill Camp (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

Field Visit by Clive O'Sullivan.

As I live very close to Boddington hill and have visited the site many times.
I can comment on the site for any body wishing to visit the prehistoric hill fort.

The whole site is currently owned by the forest commision and is a picnic site with activities for the public. There is parking close to the site for a fee. The forest commision close the site off at 9pm each night.

The Map reference; SP 883080 1 mile east of Wendover

The Oval prehistoric fort is situated on a promontary. So can be classified as a promontary fort.
The earthworks enclose an area of 17 acres.(7 ha).The earthwork is complete except at the northwest. The east side being preserved in the best condition, still standing 13 feet above the bottom of the ditch in some places. Of the remains of the defences; an inner scarp is still detectable as well as a ditch and bank along the east side. The west side has no remaining ditch but still a bank.
The Main gate is presumed to have been at the northwest and has been completely destroyed by a farm that existed there since 1768 (known as Calloway farm) Rubble and tiles are still in evidence of the demolished farm at the NW.
Within the defences are several features; These include two dells. The dell at the N is waterlogged most of the year. The second dell which is more to the
south is dry. An old disused concrete reservior exists approximately in the centre of the earthwork. The whole site is mostly over grown with brambles and trees.
The site was breifly excavated at the south east in 1964 to reveal pottery and some post holes. A profile of the bank and ditch was revealed.
The bank was formerly held back by posts with a rubble revetment. In front of the bank was a 'V' ditch.
The excavations can still be traced as a scar exists in the bank. The depression across the foot path is from the same excavations.
As the site is very long it is possible a second gate existed at the south east.

A notice board says the oval fort was in use from 600 bc till about 400 BC.

-guide to prehistoric England (Nicholas Thomas 1976)
-SMR wendover
-from imfomation notice board

Clive O'Sullivan 10/nov/2003

Boddington Hill Camp (Hillfort) — Miscellaneous

Excavations at Boddington hill fort
The excavations at Boddington hill fort were carried out with the aim to try and fix the location of the main entrance and to date the site, before tree roots
make it difficult to do as trees have been planted at the site.

The trenches were dug at the south of the site. A section was cut across the bank and carried through to the ditch. An area was exposed at the rear of the bank within the same trench. A further two trenches were cut across the angle
at the presumed gate.

The excavations were carried out by:

-Flight officer J.A.W. Burdon BA (director)
-Flight Lieutenant and Mrs J Jeffers
-Flight Lieutenant Dir. B. Eng
-Chief technician Thomas

Finds made during the excavation were pottery which is indicated as 'Iron age A' which was sealed beneath the rubble of the rampart.
The rampart itself had a stone revetment to probably contain the rubble inside the rampart but no post holes or stone were found to show how the face was contained.
The ditch was clearly defined and dropped almost perpendicular 10 feet to the base. An area of 20 feet was clear then there is a ditch in the shape of a 'V' which is approximatly 6 feet deep with angles of 45-50 degrees.

Three Post holes were found:
Post hole A: was 15 inches in diameter with packing stones which extended it diameter to 24 inches also contained 37 pieces of pottery some with fingertip decoration. This post hole may have been a gate post.
Post hole B: A stake hole 6 inches in diameter was found under the rampart and predating it.
Post hole C: Was recorded as of doubtful origin which was 12 inches wide and 10 inces deep.

Only one rampart had been erected in this area as clearly defined by soil layers and another was made up of ditch spoil but had been eroded.
A clearly defined occupation layer was found which yielded; pottery, animal bones, flints and a layer of carbon deposit.
The pottery previously mentioned is 'Iron age 'A' which is attributed to 600-400 BC and is of a coarse texture with flint grit.
The animal bones were in pieces and recognised as cattle and pig. None were burnt so may have been the remains of numerous boiled meals.

I would stick my neck out here and say that there is a south gate at this fort as it's such a long fort.
There's a break in the rampart so it pretty obvious a gate probably existed.
The excavation site from 1964 is quite easy to work out as the excavation team did not fully restore the rampart back how it looked. Brambles and stinging nettles almost blanket the exact dimensions of where the excavation took place.
Also a big chunk of the bank is missing.
The depression across the path is still visible.
You can see the plants give it us lots of clues to what happened many years ago.
Moating Sully (Clive O'sullivan)I Live in Chesham.
Love archaeology and ancient history, never turn down a chance to visit ancient sites.
frequent hillforts and old castles.
Used to take a tape measure and compass in the old days.
Visited many famous sites like Maiden castle and stonehenge but prefer the lesser known sites.
My local ones are Cholesbury and Boddington hill.
To your horror I have found pottery and stone implements on the surface which reside at the Smr at Wendover.

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