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

Ponter's Ball

Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork


Ponter's Ball is a bit mysterious - it seems people can't agree on how old it is, or what it was for. But it's certainly not inconspicuous: it's a linear earthwork about 15 feet high, and you drive through an (apparently original) gap in it when travelling from Glastonbury to Shepton Mallet. To add to it there's a ditch on the Shepton Mallet side. As for the name - perhaps someone reading this knows where it derives from?

The Somerset Historical Environment Record adds that both ends of the earthwork are at the 32ft contour- perhaps it was constructed when the water of the sea/marsh was at this height (though it could be longer, with its ends buried by later alluvial deposits). If really does end where it seems to "it can hardly be regarded as a defensive work like the rampart of a hillfort - the area defended is too large, the earthwork too long and would be easily bypassed." So they suggest it must be seen as territorial boundary (political or for stock protection), or even a religious boundary marking a prehistoric sacred area. The latter being much more romantic of course, but let's not get too carried away.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
27th April 2005ce
Edited 28th April 2005ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment