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

Southly Bridge Barrows

Round Barrow(s)


Visited late July 2012

This group of barrows are not much to look at now but would had been positioned next to a downland paradise when first constructed in the Bronze age. Below the barrows runs the River Bourne and this section contains many natural fissures where underground water rises to the surface. It would have been a place of great enchantment to ancient man, as well as being a hunting, fishing and food gathering supermarket. Today's extraction pumping has destroyed the natural habitat, along with a lot of the aquatic wildlife.

Park by the war memorial on the A338 lay-by, and cross the road using the byway (SU 23287 50957). The bridge over the river is very overgrown and looks little used. Once across, follow the bridleway on your right and the barrows are in a clump of scrubland. One barrow has been cut into by the Sunny Hill track but the other is reasonably intact and has been staked off by the MOD with "No Trenching" signs erected.

The area around Leckford Bottom would have been particularly marshy and an obstacle to any force approaching the area using the Sunny Hill track. This would explain why the Iron-age defensive earthworks were constructed to the East of these barrows, along the ridge of Windmill Hill by King Ina.

With most of the barrows or earthworks on this part of Salisbury Plain, a visit in the winter when the vegetation has died back, giving a clearer shape to the sites' features, is always going to better.
Chance Posted by Chance
25th September 2012ce

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