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

Alton Priors

Christianised Site


Alton Priors church is built on a mound above the level of the field. If you go inside, there are wooden panels on the floor - and if you lift them up there are sarsen stones under the panels. Pretty cool eh.
In the churchyard there is a yew tree, said to be 1700 years old. If this is true the yew is older than the church - a church in a tree yard, not a tree in a church yard. But then again, maybe yews grow at different speeds during their life. It's a contentious issue! - look at the forum discussion (link at the top of the page).

Nearby there is a 'laughing well' - the Broad Well (SU108623) - this apparently means you can see the bubbles coming up off the bottom of the spring. (mentioned by Katy Jordan in her excellent book on Wiltshire 'The Haunted Landscape')

Could 'Broad Well' be a corruption of Bridewell (or is that just new age speculation?). It is named in an AngloSaxon charter as 'BradeWyll'. (mentioned in the imaginative 'Legendary Landscapes' by J D Wakefield (1999).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
3rd May 2002ce
Edited 11th October 2005ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment