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Badock's Wood

Round Barrow(s)



This round barrow stands close to a bridleway, behind Greenway Secondary School, Southmead, Bristol. Although on the Ordnance Survey Map for the area, it is marked as a tumulus. Known as Milltut, it has alternative names of Badocks Wood Barrow, Southmead Barrow or Mill Tut. It is a Bronze Age barrow which was later used as the base for a windmill. In 1873 a passage was dug from the south and friable human remains were found near to the centre. A further investigation in 1922 produced bone, flint and pottery shards. In 2003, Bristol County Council commissioned a stainless steel sculpture, by Michael Fairfax. The hole at the top of the sculpture aligns with the peak of the burial mound, which is in keeping with the ethos of the times of alignment. Engraved on the sculpture is a commissioned poem by John Fairfax, which tells the history of the site. The last part of the poem reads:-

'wild hog rooted among trees'.

Milltut stands on a Ley Line which runs from a part of a Roman Road in the grounds of Blaise Castle Estate, across Hazel Brook, - Coll. Ninth tree. Divining. Magic. Bile Ratha. - The venerated tree of the Rath. Wisdom. August 5 - September 1. - on to a church that stands at Monks Park. This ley line does not seem to extend at either end.

The etymology of the name Milltut is not that hard to define. Mill - because of the mill that once stood there. Whereas, Tut - is Saxon for hill. But, before one can leave this theory as read. Let us take a closer look at the word Tut. Tut is a Common Pattern Word and also comes from the Altaic Languages. In Folklore it is the Lincolnshire name for a Hobgoblin. - A friendly spirit of the Brownie type. Shakespeare's Puck in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', was of this type. At a traditional annual ceremony in Hungerford, 'tuttimen' carry six foot long staves. In recent years, the place-name elements of Toot and Tut have been looked at by investigators and is said to denote 'a hill of observation', a look-out place. The word derives from the Old English totian, 'to peep, look out, spy', or Middle English toten, 'to project, stick out'. But, 'to tote' in Middle English is 'to watch, to look out'. The word has also evolved into modern English 'tout', which meant a spy or lookout man. It would seem that at least some of these toot hills were artificial mounds, perhaps surmounted by watch towers. - Was there an older building stood on Milltut? This links to a whole group of Germanic words which can be traced back to the Old High German word tutta or tuta, meaning 'nipple'. In Old Norse, tuta extends its meaning to 'a teat-like prominence'. Medieval Dutch tote means 'apex, point'. - Giving the modern Dutch tuit, 'spout or nozzle'. Likewise, modern German tute means a 'cone-shaped container'. Other places with the name Tut are listed below:-

Tuters Hill. Staffordshire.
Tutman's Hole. Cumbria.
Tutnall. Hereford & Worcestershire.
Tutnell or Totenhull. Warwickshire.
Tutshill. Gloucestershire.
Tutthill. Kent.
Tuttington. Norfolk.
Tutts Camp. Berkshire.

Which leads to the suggestion that these 'look out hills' were less important as military observation points than as originating as ritual sites for observing the surrounding alignments of ancient sites.

It is no longer certain if Milltut was on an alignment with the long barrow close to Romney Avenue, Lockleaze and also nearby Star Hill - an astronomical sighting point/part of a bigger zodiac encircling Bristol. Close by, is Coldharbour Lane. Or its Obelisk - the second to stand on this spot. Erected in memory of the Duchess Dower , who was out hunting one day and fell from her horse and died. She is said to haunt the area. But, there is a ley line that runs from south of Glastonbury to the north of Bristol and comprises Priddy Circles, which are Bronze Age - c. 2200 - 800 BC. - earthworks, which have four circular banks with ditches. These are thought to be ceremonial henge monuments and the long barrow at Lockleaze.

There is also another round barrow in this area. Marked on the Ordnance Survey Map as a tumulus, this round barrow stood in the grounds of Over Park near to the Oak Covert, - Duir. The seventh tree. The tree of all the Thunder-gods. Fuel of the midsummer fires. When excavated, bones from a large human male were found and said to be those of Offa. Who was King of Mercia from 757 - 796 AD, when he died. During his time, he constructed an earthwork - Offa's Dyke - between Wales and Mercia. Not far from where the round barrow stood, can be found the remains of St: Swithen's Chapel and St: Swithen's Farm with its moat, denoting a much older site. St: Swithin's Day on July 15, is a Church Festival commemorating St: Swithin. It is believed that if it rains on this day, the rain will persist for the next 40 days. One mile from the round barrow is Knole Park Camp, conforming to the shape of the ground, which is nearly oval. The defences consisted of a mound and two ditches with an entrance at the north-east end. While the views embrace both shores of the River Severn and the district of the Silures.

British and Roman Roads cross through the area north of Bristol. Cribb's Causeway - named after the Bristol boxer Henry Cribb - is a portion of the Western Trackway and ran through Eagle Meadow in Patchway. There was also a road that left Cribb's Causeway at the top of Blackhorse Hill and lead to Peot's Enclosure - Patchesway - Patchway. Also an ancient trackway across the fields, which took the people of Patchway to Almondsbury. Another, runs across the Blue Bridge, Station Road, Patchway and is said to have been the original Gloucester Road. But, this was the territory of the Hwiccas - a Saxon people, allied with the Welsh - and the Dobuni - a quiet and peaceable people - where ancient trackways and trade were needed to survive.

Stewart Guy.

[thanks Stewart - moved from forum posts]
Posted by TMA Ed
6th March 2007ce
Edited 2nd March 2015ce

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