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

Marden Henge (and Hatfield Barrow)



Extracts from a note-book by Sir R C Hoare.
(Wilts Arch and Nat Hist Mag vol 22)
Sat. Oct 10, 1807.
Mild and fine day. Went in a chaise to Marden, a village on the right of the great road leading to Devizes. Here there is a very singular earthen work that has been unnoticed by antiquaries. From the circumstances of the ditch being on the inside, and the vallum without, we may safely pronounce it to have been a religious, not a military work. Its form, however, is not circular like that of Abury, but very irregular...

Curiosity is not alone confined to this outward and stupendous vallum. The interior of the arc contains two very interesting fragments of antiquity. A large tumulus, the third, I think, in size after Silbury and the Castle Hill at Marlborough. This tumulus is named in the map Hatfield barrow. The etymology of which, as given me by a native farmer, was derived from the unproductive quality of the soil, which occasioned it being called Hatefield.

This tumulus is not placed in the centre of the area, but towards the northern angle of it, or rather north-western. As our operations on it are not yet terminated I can give no account either of its contents or destination. From the moisture of the substratum of sand I have much doubt if we shall be able effectually to explore it.

Our workmen had a most providential escape, by being taken off to another spot by Mr Cunnington, when during their absence several ton weight of earth fell in, at a time when the floor of the barrow was nearly uncovered.

On the south-west side of the enclosure is a low circular work - very similar to one we know near Southley Wood [here?], Warminster - it is intersected by a hedge.

The manoeuvres of the day being interrupted by the heavy fall of earth, I left Marden and ascended the chalk hills...

...Returned to Everley gratified and benefitted, as usual, by my ride amongst the Britons."
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
7th January 2004ce
Edited 2nd September 2004ce

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