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Giant's Grave (Martinsell)

Promontory Fort

<b>Giant's Grave (Martinsell)</b>Posted by mossImage © moss
Nearest Town:Marlborough (6km N)
OS Ref (GB):   SU166632 / Sheet: 173
Latitude:51° 22' 1.46" N
Longitude:   1° 45' 41.47" W

Added by Rhiannon

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<b>Giant's Grave (Martinsell)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Giant's Grave (Martinsell)</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Giant's Grave (Martinsell)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Giant's Grave (Martinsell)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Giant's Grave (Martinsell)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Giant's Grave (Martinsell)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Giant's Grave (Martinsell)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Giant's Grave (Martinsell)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Giant's Grave (Martinsell)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Giant's Grave (Martinsell)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Giant's Grave (Martinsell)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Giant's Grave (Martinsell)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Giant's Grave (Martinsell)</b>Posted by ginger tt <b>Giant's Grave (Martinsell)</b>Posted by tjj <b>Giant's Grave (Martinsell)</b>Posted by tjj <b>Giant's Grave (Martinsell)</b>Posted by moss


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Monday, 11th July 2011

Set off to 'test' another nine mile walk for the North Wessex Downs AONB forthcoming series of Heritage Walks. Started from Pewsey Wharf along the Kennet & Avon Canal to pick up the White Horse Trail at Pains Bridge up to Giant's Grave Settlement.

It was a hot, humid day, I had been troubled for the past week or so by horse-fly bites. This occasion was no exception which, along with the heat, made walking uphill uncomfortable. Fortunately by the time Giant's Grave was reached a slight breeze had sprung up.

Fabulous views over the Vale of Pewsey in one direction and the ridge of hills towards Knap Hill (Oare and Huish Hills) in the other. The nine mile walk towards Gopher Wood along the White Horse Trail (Tan Hill Way) was abandoned for a cooler day ... so it was back down hill and a walk into the village of Oare in such of refreshment.

Note: Oare and Pewsey are accessible by bus from Swindon, Marlborough and Salisbury via the Wilts & Dorset X5

Another, this time successful, attempt at the nine mile walk mentioned above. Undistracted today by heat and insect bites I was able to take a better look at the rampart known as Giant's Grave. Approached along the fence-line at the top to Martinsell Hill (the Pewsey side) it was clearer today to see it as a defensive bank and ditch, broken by the a fence driven through it. Later viewed from Tan Hill Way - a different perspective, the shape of a hill fort became clearly visible.
tjj Posted by tjj
16th July 2011ce
Edited 18th July 2011ce

An excellent little promontory fort to the south-west(ish) of the much larger hillfort upon Martinsell Hill.

Perhaps best reached by way of a steep climb from Sunnyhill Lane (great name) near Bethnal Green - no, not that one!! - heading north on the White Horse Trail, before veering to the right up the obvious slope in front.

The enclosure boasts great views all round, particularly towards The Vale of Pewsey, not to mention a pretty substantial ditch and rampart isolating the fort from the ridge to the east leading to Martinsell. Which begs the question 'what was the relationship between the two sites?' Were they occupied concurrently by the same people - unusual, bearing in mind their close proximity - or at different periods in time? Whatever the truth of the matter, I loved it here........

Giant's Grave is perhaps best viewed from the A345 just north of the village of Oare.
27th June 2009ce
Edited 31st July 2010ce


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In the 18th century there was a summerhouse on the Giant's Grave promontory, and in 1806 Colt Hoare wrote: "From the Summer House observe the finest view in Wiltshire."

(Quoted by K Watts in 'The Marlborough Downs' 1993).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
6th September 2005ce
Edited 9th April 2008ce