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

Mount Pleasant



Details of henge on Pastscape

A large henge enclosure, partially extant as an earthwork, located on the southeast side of Dorchester. The site comprises a ditch and outer bank defining an irregular sub-oval area, the enclosure circuit being interrupted by four entrances. The maximum external diameter of the site is around 370 metres. Some excavation was undertaken in 1970-71 by G Wainwright. The principal features noted in the interior were a substantial circular post-hole structure comprising five concentric circles of post holes within a ditch circa 43 metres in diameter. The ditch was open to the north. In a second phase, the timber structures appear to have been replaced by central cove-like setting of standing stones. The main enclosure earthworks were themselves supplemented by construction of a palisade trench within and concentric to the inner side of the ditch. This palisade featured just two very narrow entrance gaps, each defined by massive post holes. The palisade enclosed an area of circa 245 metres by 270 metres. Analysis of aerial photographs has revealed more detail, including at least one additional entrance, a possible earlier phase of enclosure marked out by pits, evidence that part of the henge bank was heightened, traces of external ditches, and a possible approach from the River Frome to the northeast. Finds from Wainwright's excavations included Grooved Ware sherds from primary levels in the henge ditch. Slightly later were Beaker sherds and a decorated flat bronze axe from the north terminal of the ditch. Sporadic post-Bronze Age activity included a circular Iron Age structure and two Saxon burials. Both burials were extended inhumations. One was accompanied by an iron knife and may be 7th century in date.The Conquer Barrow (SY 78 NW 3) overlies the henge earthworks on the western side.
Chance Posted by Chance
30th May 2014ce

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