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



Sites in this group:

1 post
Flock Down Field Barrows Round Barrow(s)
10 posts
Lansdown Barrows Round Barrow(s)
5 posts
Lansdown Camp Barrow / Cairn Cemetery
3 posts
Lansdown Flint Working Site Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork
1 post
Lansdown Golf Course Barrows Round Barrow(s)
2 posts
Lansdown Race Field Barrows Round Barrow(s)
2 posts
Little Down Camp Barrow Round Barrow(s)
16 posts
North Stoke Promontory Fort
1 post
Windmill Tump Cairn Cairn(s)

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Photographs:<b>Lansdown</b>Posted by moss <b>Lansdown</b>Posted by moss <b>Lansdown</b>Posted by moss <b>Lansdown</b>Posted by moss <b>Lansdown</b>Posted by moss <b>Lansdown</b>Posted by moss <b>Lansdown</b>Posted by moss <b>Lansdown</b>Posted by moss <b>Lansdown</b>Posted by pure joy <b>Lansdown</b>Posted by pure joy Maps / Plans / Diagrams:<b>Lansdown</b>Posted by moss <b>Lansdown</b>Posted by moss <b>Lansdown</b>Posted by Rhiannon Artistic / Interpretive:<b>Lansdown</b>Posted by Rhiannon


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Probable barrow.. This photo was taken 4 years back, it shows large stones caught underneath a root plate of tree brought down in a storm. The trees on Kelston Hill are probably an 18th century planting, the barrow must have been flattened and the tree grew into the remains. There is evidence of stones round the hill, which only appear during the summer when the soil dries out. A mystery and not certain but perhaps it should be recorded for posterity.. Checking today 1/10/05, there is a definite bowl (the stones have since gone for walling) of about 15 foot diameter. The barrow would have sat atop of a small bank/ridge on top of the hill, which rises to the south west. Its focus or alignment is Stantonbury hill fort... moss Posted by moss
30th September 2005ce
Edited 15th February 2006ce

Rhiannon visits all these places from my childhood, when I was unaware of any ancient history! I lived in Upper Weston, close to Lansdown, for many years and it is a beautiful area. It's also favourite dog walking territory and apologies in advance if you visit the Racecourse, Prospect Stile, or Kelston Round Hill areas and you come across 4 mad pointers bombing around thinking they are tough - that will be my mother's dogs! One ex-dog has his ashes scattered on the Round Hill as it was his favourite area.

I've found some old photos of the area. On a very fine day the original Severn Bridge can be seen (not checked more recently for the newer one) as can the Welsh hills in the background.
pure joy Posted by pure joy
1st March 2003ce
Edited 15th February 2006ce


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The Sun-disc Barrows - Monument No. 203725

Details of Barrows on Pastscape

Two round barrows - human cremation plus "fused copper" and gold-plated bronze "sun-disc" 200 yards North-West of the Lansdown Camp.
[ST 7116 6896] TUMULI [O.E. - two shown] Bronze Disc found [T.I.]
About 200 yards north-west of the Roman Camp [ST 76 N.W. 19] on Lansdown are two round barrows 28-30 ft. in diameter.
The excavation of one revealed a circular cist near the middle, containing cremated bones, sherds from at least two urns, and some fused copper, A fragmentary gold plated bronze sun-disc was found in the other.
These are two ditchless bowl barrows, 0.6m high. Surveyed at 1/2500. 1/2500 survey of 3.3.66 filed with ST 76 NW 16.
Chance Posted by Chance
14th October 2012ce

Sun Discs;

A few days ago someone who is writing a book on Lansdown race course asked me about the Bronze Age 'sun disc' that was found in one of the barrows. It was in fact gold over bronze (most of the gold having disappeared) and was in such a terrible state and in so many fragments that its reconstruction is a matter of drawing the complex pattern on paper, which both Rhiannon and Mike Aston have done.
Having delved through what little information there is, I was struck by the fact that the term 'sun disc' might be a misnomer for some of these artefacts. These Irish sun discs are buttonlike almost....

There is a similar small gold disc found at Jug's Grave also,

a few miles from the Lansdown, here we are in Wessex kingdom land of course, where gold is occasionally found in the B/A barrows. So was the 6 inch Lansdown a bigger version of a sun disc, and are the smaller ones more like ornamentation for horses or people, And not to forget the Trundholm Sun-Chariot a gold/bronze depiction of a mare pulling the sun, the disc has a certain similarity to the Lansdown one...
moss Posted by moss
28th February 2011ce
Edited 2nd March 2011ce

On the Lansdown sun disc, from volume 11 of the Proceedings of the Bath Nat.Hist. and Antiq. Field Club (1906).
We collected with the greatest care every piece, however small, that could be found. Much of the gold plating, notwithstanding all the precautions we took, was blown away or lost, but enough at any rate remains even now to establish the fact that it was so plated.
So the disc was actually gold-plated bronze (contrary to my misplaced understanding that it was pure gold - still at 6 inches diameter that would have been unlikely..). It was found in one of the barrows about 200yds NW of the 'Roman Camp'.
This includes a photograph of the fragments.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
28th September 2005ce
Edited 19th January 2012ce

Littledown Fort sits on a promontory overlooking the villages of Northstoke and Kelston. Bronze age barrows (3) have been ploughed out in the centre of the fort. There is also a barrow at its entrance, though the farmers seems to use the barrow as a turning point. The entrance from the racecourse side faces due west to Wales. The field in which the fort sits was an old B/A burial place, and yet the iron age fort hardly seems to repect this. Use of the word fort, of course with its military rings gives a false idea of its use; defensive yes on occasions, settlement might be, also place for securing farm animals. Its very similar to Stantonbury fort, in that its seems to have a central dividing bank. Littledown fort sits on the opposite side of the river Avon to Stantonbury, as does Little Solsbury to Bathampton and the theory has been put forward, that these four defended the area round Bath and the river... moss Posted by moss
24th May 2005ce
Edited 15th February 2006ce

There has been plenty of evidence found up here on this plateau for the Mesolithic era onwards: flints, Bronze Age barrows, the Iron Age fort of 'Little Down', remains of a Roman town.. There were 20+ barrows but many have been ploughed out or otherwise destroyed. However, in one of them (officially titled 'number 3' though I am yet to find out where this is) a gold disc was found. It was labelled a 'sun disc' by archaeologists, and similar designs have been found across Europe from the Bronze Age. It's probably languishing in the British Museum now and I had to make do with a drawing in the Bristol Museum.

It is a nice area to stroll in - cross the racecourse and admire the view from 'Prospect Stile', including the weird tree-crowned Kelston Round Hill (which begs to have prehistoric pagan significance, though I don't know if it does), and walk along the edge to Little Down fort.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
25th February 2003ce
Edited 16th March 2009ce


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British Museum replica of Lansdown Sun disc

British Museum replica with the original very badly damaged disc.
moss Posted by moss
31st August 2014ce

Latest posts for Lansdown

Showing 1-10 of 41 posts. Most recent first | Next 10

Lansdown Barrows (Round Barrow(s)) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Lansdown Barrows</b>Posted by swallowhead<b>Lansdown Barrows</b>Posted by swallowhead Posted by swallowhead
11th January 2018ce

Lansdown Barrows (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited yesterday. The larger barrow is extremely overgrown with brambles and several small trees. It is difficult to see where it begins, but I would estimate around 30-40 feet in diameter. At the centre it reaches a height of 5-6 feet. I remember it being a much more impressive feature a couple of decades ago, very visible from the road when driving past, before it became as scrubbed over as it is now.

There is a drawing of this barrow from 1783 on the British Library website, just behind Rose Cottage with a large ash tree growing on it.

The tree is also visible on the Harcourt Masters Turnpike map of 1786/7, where mound is shown as a very prominent feature. The other two barrows are not shown on the map.

The largest of the confluent round barrows in the field is around 3 feet in height, the smaller one to the NW is around 2 feet.

The field is marked on the 1841 tithe map as 'Fair Close', presumably this was where the Lansdown Fair was held.
Posted by swallowhead
11th January 2018ce

North Stoke (Promontory Fort) — Images

<b>North Stoke</b>Posted by juamei<b>North Stoke</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>North Stoke</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>North Stoke</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>North Stoke</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>North Stoke</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>North Stoke</b>Posted by thesweetcheat thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
26th February 2014ce
Showing 1-10 of 41 posts. Most recent first | Next 10