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Miscellaneous Posts by thesweetcheat

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Curbar Edge (Cairn(s))

Two cairns near the edge of Curbar Edge. Descriptions from Heritage Gateway:
Curbar Edge NW (SK 2548 7560)

18m in diameter and 1m high, hollowed out as a result of excavation 24.4.1913 by the gamekeeper Mr. E. Peat and the Marquis of Granby who found a bronze knife-dagger, burnt bones, a food vessel, flint thumb scraper and a central cist of large slabs.

Curbar Edge SE (SK 2589 7509)

The monument is prominently located 50m from the edge towards its southern end and includes a roughly circular heather-covered gritstone cairn with a diameter of c.12m and a height of c.1.2m. Although the monument has not been excavated, its form and location, together with its proximity to other prehistoric remains, indicate a Bronze Age date.

Wood Barrow (Long Barrow)

As well as the long barrow, there is a round barrow across the road in the field to the north, apparently known as Royal Oak Field.

Summary of Pastscape details:
A round barrow situated at SP 06701239 upon the gentle north-facing slope of a ridge. The barrow measures in diameter 29.0m north-south by 26.0m transversely, with a maximum height of 1.0m. There are no visible remains of a ditch; under plough.

Two upright slabs seen in 1936 after ploughing are no longer visible.

The Bronze Age barrow is not clearly visible on the available aerial photographs, although a lighter coloured area, which is probably caused by a spread of the stone material that formed the mound, is visible in 1946.

Foxcote Hill Farm (Round Barrow(s))

From the Gloucestershire HER:
1999 - Site visited by A Douthwaite of English Heritage on 04/02/1999 as a result of MPP. The barrow was first reported in the late 1970s, by Saville and Drinkwater during fieldwalking, as a small mound about 8m in diameter and 0.3m high with a small central excavation crater.

On visiting the site it became clear nothing of the mound survived. The area in which it was reported to lie is currently under pasture, but was ploughed until c.1990 and it is quite possible that the barrow was destroyed during this period.

Grindle (Round Barrow(s))

There are two surviving round barrows on the southern shoulder of Grindle. A further barrow formerly crowned the summit of the hill, but has been destroyed.

Descriptions from the Shropshire HER:
Southern barrow (SO 4286 9241)

The monument includes a bowl barrow situated overlooking a steep east-facing scarp slope. The barrow is visible as a well defined, slightly oval, mound with dimensions of 10m north-east to south-west by 9m transversely and standing up to 0.6m high. The summit of the mound has been disturbed and hollowed to a depth of 0.2m by exploration at some time in the past. Although not visible at surface level, a ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument, surrounds the mound. This has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature some 2m wide.

Visited during a condition survey by the English Heritage Field Monument Warden, in 2000. Condition recorded as fair - covered by thick old heather.

Northern barrow (SO 4290 9244)

The monument includes a bowl barrow situated on the lip of a steep east facing scarp slope. The barrow is visible as a well defined, slightly oval mound of earth and stone construction, with dimensions of 11.7m north east to south west by 10m transversely and standing up to 0.8m high. The summit of the mound is flattened and slightly hollowed as a result of exploration at some time in the past forming a shallow central crater 3m in diameter and 0.2m deep. The centre of this crater shows the inner fabric of the mound to comprise angular limestone blocks of a fairly uniform size between 10cm and 20cm. Although not visible at surface level, a ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument, surrounds the mound. This has become infilled through the passage of time but survives as a buried feature some 2m wide.

Visited during a condition survey by the English Heritage Field Monument Warden, in 2000. Condition recorded as fair - covered by thick old heather.

Summit barrow (destroyed - SO 4300 9265)

The most northerly of the three barrows on Grindle Nills, circular in plan, 40ft in diameter by 18ins high.

The barrow has been destroyed. Its site is marked at SO4302 9265 by a roughly circular bed of stones, within an area of heather, 7.5m in diameter, upon which, on the N side, stands a modern cairn of stones. Embedded into the S side is an OS triangulation bolt.

Tynemouth Castle (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

From Historic England:
The earliest evidence for occupation on the headland was uncovered by excavation in 1963. There survived the part remains of a large pre-Roman round house measuring 11.5m in diameter within a wall of upright posts set within a narrowly dug foundation trench. There was a doorway through the south wall. An outer concentric line of post holes which held the eave posts was situated 0.6m beyond the inner wall giving an overall diameter of 14m. Roman pottery found above the foundation trench indicated that the house had gone out of use by the late second century AD. It is thought that the house may belong to a much more extensive Iron Age settlement, possibly a promontory fort where the neck of land which joins the headland to the mainland would be defended by a palisade or a series of ditched defences.

The 1963 excavations at Tynemouth also uncovered the remains of a second circular house, 4.5m in diameter and of different form to the first. This house was not considered to be contemporary with the first, instead it was dated to the later Romano-British period. There was a concentration of Romano-British pottery in this area as well as a scatter across the rest of the excavated area and one of the pieces of pottery was dated to the late second century AD.

St Patrick's Isle (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

From A Guide To The Archaeological Sites Of The Isle Of Man- Andrew Johnson & Allison Fox (2017, Culture Vannin):
There are no visible prehistoric remains on St Patrick's Isle, but archaeological excavations found a shallow hollow, in which flint tools had been manufactured. These tools have been dated to the Mesolithic period, when such hollows were commonly dug to provide shelters in which to work, process food, eat and sleep. The variety of flint tools discovered suggests the islet was seasonally used around 8000 years ago. St Patrick's Isle continued to be used into the Neolithic period, as worked flints, stone tools and some pottery characteristic of this time have also been discovered.

Evidence of more permanent occupation from the Bronze Age onwards has been revealed in the form of post hole foundations for a series of roundhouses. Their sheltered location on the east side of the islet and apparently continuous occupation into the late Iron Age suggests that the site was both attractive and significant. Its apparent security resulted in the construction of a large roundhouse about 8.5-9m in diameter which served as a granary and would have been controlled by the local elite. A substantial deposit of charred timber and grain however showed that the building, which had stored large quantities of spelt wheat and smaller amounts of emmer wheat and barley, had been completely destroyed by fire just over 2,200 years ago.

Treswallock Downs (Cairn(s))

Pastscape descriptions of two cairns on Treswallock Downs:
SX 11607782

The mutilated cairn comprises a ragged, turf-covered mound which incorporates an incomplete kerb of upright slabs (the tallest is 1.1m high). The overall dimensions of the mound are about 7.2m by 6.9m although much of its centre and north-west side have been robbed; the kerb is approximately 4.4m in diameter.

The cairn material may have originally been contained within the standing slabs.

SX 11627783

A disturbed turf-covered cairn approximately 7.7m in diameter and 0.4m high. It has traces of a kerb fringe of the mound. Its top has been mutilated and a large earthfast boulder lies to one side of an 0.3m deep central pit.

Shortwood mounds (Round Barrow(s))

There's disagreement as to whether the mounds below the Shortwood toposcope are round barrows, quarry dumps or simply natural features.

The National Trust favour the round barrows option, describing them as "good candidates":
Two conjoined probable round barrows. Visited with wardening team. The site lie 200m south west of Shortwood 200m south-west and downslope of Shortwood toposcope on the north side of a pathway. From here there is a clear view to the north towards Haresfield Beacon.

SW Mound:

This is a prominent mound estimated as 15m diameter and 2.5m high. A quarry ditch could be traced on all but the norh-east side where it joins the north-east mound. The ditch is 3-5m wide and about 0.5m deep except on the south-east side where it has been backfilled presumably for the pathway but it is vaguely discernable there.

Recent disturbance on the south-west side of the mound top revealed the make-up the mound to be limestone rubble mixed with dark brown humic loam. The hole was c. 1.5m long and 0.5m wide and 0.4m deep.

Light scrub was growing on the SW and NE sides. Ranger David Armstrong agreed to clear this.

These are good candidates for barrows and may be those identified by Ordnance Survey and referred to in 71307.

NE mound:

This is a prominent mound estimated as 15m diameter and 2.5m high. A quarry ditch could be traced on all but the south-west side where it joins the south-west mound. The ditch is 3-5m wide and about 0.5m deep except on the south-east side where it has been backfilled presumably for the pathway.

Light scrub was growing across most of the mound. Ranger David Armstrong agreed to clear this.

The Pastscape record is less promising:
1998 - The site was visited by A Douthwaite of English Heritage as a result of MPP on 19/08/1998. The site was first noted by R. Jowett-Burton in 1931, and was visited by Grinsell in 1960, who assessed the mound to be 11m in diameter and 1m in height. However, Grinsell was uncertain whether the feature represented a barrow, as he had noted the presence of other, natural mounds in the area. During a survey of the Haresfield Beacon Estate in 1995, the mound was not located as the area contains numerous mounds of natural origin and the underlying ground is composed of geologically unstable deposits of landslip and foundered strata. Parry, who undertook the survey, concluded that 'it would seem highly improbable that round barrows would be present in such a location'. The site was visited under the MPP in August 1998, and although a number of mounds were noted in the location specified, there is no evidence to indicate tht they represent round barrows, and they may be quarry dumps or natural features (pers comm A Douthwaite 19/08/1998).

Either way, they're big mounds in a lovely location, with views across the Severn towards the Forest of Dean. They are also intervisible with the prominent round barrow on Haresfield Beacon.

Black Mixen (Round Barrow(s))

As well as the summit cairn, there is a further round barrow at the northwestern end of the Black Mixen summit ridge, Mynydd Ffoesidoes, at SO19096521.

Coflein description:
The monument comprises the remains of a substantial round barrow, a burial mound probably dating to the Bronze Age (c.2300 BC - 800 BC) and situated in enclosed rough moorland on the NW end of the Black Mixen ridge on Radnor Forest. The heather-covered barrow is circular on plan and measures about 24m in diameter and up to 1.3m in height. Although the W side of the monument has been disturbed and is generally lower, the base of the round barrow appears to be undisturbed. Traces of a surrounding ring ditch are visible, in places measuring up to 2m in width. The barrow is situated within boggy moorland - a Site of Special Scientific Interest - and has great archaeological and paleoenvironmental potential. The barrow possibly represents the remains of a platform cairn - the barrow displays no evidence of original 'bulk' indicating a rounded profile and is unlikely to have been extensively robbed.

Cwm Bwch, Great Rhos (Round Barrow(s))

Three round barrows located on the top of the curving escarpment edge either side of Cwm Bwch, on the northwestern slopes of Great Rhos.

Coflein descriptions, north-south:
Cwm Bwch I at SO17586497

One of two barrows, 11m in diameter and 0.9m high.

Cwm Bwch II at SO17576494

14m in diameter and 1.1m high, mutilated to the E.

Cwm Bwch III at SO17566414

Remains of a round barrow, situated in enclosed moorland on the edge of a prominent west-facing terrace on the summit of a ridge within Radnor Forest. The grass and heather covered barrow is circular on plan and measures about 12.5m in diameter and up to 1.2m in height.

Dod Hill East (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

The remains of a very substantial cairn with several smaller ones, at the bottom of the eastern slopes of Dod Hill, which is an obvious focal point.

Pastscape description:
Although severely robbed, the surviving rim of this round cairn shows it was originally about 23.0m overall diameter.

An arc of earthfast kerbstones is visible around the S side, but the entire NE quadrant has been destroyed by robbing. Standing to a maximum height of 1.3m on the W side, the original height of the cairn was probably at least double this, judging by the large rubble heaps and sheepfolds nearby.

Six metres S. of the cairn, is a compact sub-circular earth and rubble mound about 5.0m in overall diameter and about 1.0m high. It appears undisturbed and cannot be regarded as spoil from the larger mound. Possibly a small satellite cairn, but one cannot be certain on ground evidence.

Remains of a further 4 round cairns, between 3.5 metres and 5 metres in diameter and up to 0.5 metres high, can be seen to the south and east.

Cocklawburn Beach Rings (Natural Rock Feature)

A mile to the southeast was a massive cairn, which yielded finds but is now gone. From pastscape:
(centred NU 039470) A tumulus of water-worn stones, about 26 feet high and 50 feet diameter, stood about 250 yards from High Water Mark, on the very extreme limit of the cultivated land, on the left of the road from Cheswick to the beach. When opened in 1826, it was found to contain several secondary inhumations, and, at its centre, a primary burial in a cist, 5 feet x 2 feet 6 inches, together with a bronze knife-dagger, now in the B.M.

No trace of a cairn in the area.

Mire Loch (Hillfort)

Canmore description of the fort/settlement site:
This fort is situated at an elevation of some 250ft OD, and occupies the NW end of a rocky knoll which rises some 40ft above a cultivated field.

It is enclosed by a single earth-and-stone rampart which follows the contour on three sides and crosses the summit on the fourth. In the interior are several rather indefinite foundations, and apparently a circular one on the right of the entrance and another nearer the centre. There are also a number of mounds and hollows of indeterminate character outside on the slope from the SE, probably due to quarrying.

The remains at this site are those of a probable two-phase settlement overlain by a farmstead. In the first phase the settlement measured 40m by 24.5m internally; subsequently it was extended on the NW by 13m. The enclosing bank is spread to a width of about 3.3m, except on the SE, where it is considerably thicker, with traces of an external ditch. The gap on the SE is probably associated with the farmstead, and the original entrance may have been on the N. The remains of the later farmstead are situated within the wall of the settlement. The buildings appear to have been ranged around a yard which was open on the SE. The most prominent feature is a building platform measuring 13m from NW to SE by 4.2m transversely set against the SW wall of the earlier settlement.

As well as the fort there is an intervisible prehistoric settlement site to the NW at NT 9083 6863. Canmore description:
This roughly rectangular settlement, measuring about 44m by 28.5m within a wall (0.6m high and spread to a thickness of 3.7m) occupies the rounded summit of a hill due S of Pettico Wick Harbour, (at an elevation of 105m OD). The S corner of the interior has been incorporated into what is probably a secondary enclosure containing the turf-covered footings of two circular houses. Within the settlement there are footings of two houses with internal diameters of 6.2m and 7m respectively.

Brean Down (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

There are two distinct groups of barrows on Brean Down, located on the eastern and western summits of the ridge. Pastscape descriptions:

Eastern group
Seven mounds are contained within the eastern field system on Brean Down. One of these is a round barrow, centred at ST 29325 58814. It is most likely to be the site that Skinner, writing in the early 19th century, found Roman pottery and human bones on the surface, and recorded that the primary deposit had been removed. The barrow lies just to the south of the Roman temple (ST 25 NE 6) and appears to overlie part of the field sytem. The NW side of the barrow has been damaged by ridge and furrow cultivation. A small hollow at the SE corner of the barrow represents the remains of a small building, visible on aerial photographs taken in 1948. Four small depressions on the W and E sides of the mound and to the S of the barrow probably mark the position of ApSimon's trial trenches.

The mound centred at ST 29135 58925 may be a burial cairn. It is portrayed thus on a map of 1821. Silty clay has been dumped on the W end of the mound, obscuring its original form.

The remaining mounds are all small and are most likely to be clearance cairns or modified field banks. The mound centred at ST 2932 5881 is larger than the others, measuring 15m in diameter, has been interpreted as a round barrow or cairn which may be Bronze Age or Roman in date.

The other four mounds are centred at ST 2911 5893, ST 2913 5892, ST 2921 5889 and ST 2924 5887. They are predominantly sub-circular except for the largest mound and range in size, measuring between 3m in diameter and 7m by 10m. The largest of the mounds has been interpreted as a Bronze age burial mound. The other mounds may be clearance cairns which are possibly later in date.
Western group
Six mounds are contained within the western field system on Brean Down. Two of these are most likely to be small, Bronze Age burial cairns. The cairn at ST 28412 50920 is a low, circular, stony mound, close to a field bank. The cairn at ST 28519 59010 is a circular, turf-covered mound. Both of these cairns are shown on Colt Hoare's map of 1821 as burial cairns.

The large, flat-topped, sub-rectangular mound at ST 28487 59007 is surmounted by an OS trig. pillar. The hollow and small mound by the pillar suggest that the mound has been dug into. The field system may have incorporated an earlier cairn, or it may have been altered by the addition of a large burial cairn. The mound may have been augmented by field clearance. The present day appearance of the mound suggests that it may have been used as a beacon during the post medieval period.

The small rectangular mound on top of a field bank at ST 28647 58955 appears to be of recent construction. The mound at ST 28695 58942 is caused by the junction of two field banks, although it may have been augmented by field clearance. The sub-rectangular mound at ST 28733 58937 is part of a field bank, perhaps augmented by field clearance. A small hollow in its centre suggests that it has been dug into, and its northern end appears to have been modified by the removal of material.

Brean Down Fort (Hillfort)

Summarised description from Pastscape sources:
At the east end of Brean Down, a bank of stones, 4-8 feet high, with an outer ditch, makes an angle, ending on the steep slope on the north and destroyed by quarrying on the east.

In the part of the camp destroyed by quarrying a number of Roman gold coins of Augustus, Nero and Drusus, and two silver denarii of Vespasian, were found by quarrymen and dispersed to private collectors. A Roman cornelian ring is also recorded from the earthwork.

The principal feature of the earthwork is a bank and rock-cut ditch running north south across the ridge. At its southern end the bank turns to the east and follows a natural fault line along the top of exposed limestone outcrop.

Some mutilation of the earthwork and disturbance of the enclosed area was caused by military installations of the 1939-45 war.

A small excavation of the western bank of this feature was carried out in 1974, providing information for the following abstract:-

"Limited excavation at the SW angle of this small and now L-shaped earthwork showed the defences to consist of abutting rubble banks
revetted front and rear with massive drystone walling, with a ditch to the west. Radio carbon determinations indicate that the defences were constructed in the latter part of the Iron Age, and
provide dates for the coarse pottery of Iron Age `A' type in use on the site prior to the construction of the banks and while ditch silting was taking place. The site continued to be frequented in the Roman period."

The site was surveyed at a scale of 1:1000 by the RCHME in June 1995 as part of a landscape survey of Brean Down. The remains comprise an elongated L-shaped bank and ditch on the eastern side of Brean Down, centred at ST 29805900. Although the earthworks do not form a hillfort in the generally accepted definition of the term, the historical evidence, the scale of the western and southern ramparts, and the excavated evidence for Iron Age occupation, suggests that the term hillfort is appropriate for these earthworks.

The best preserved sections of the earthworks are the western rampart and ditch, and the western end of the southern rampart. The western rampart runs for 45m N-S and is, on average, 2m high and 2m wide. The ditch is present for some 25m on the outer side of the western rampart, south of the Military Road, and is rock-cut at its southern end. The ditch is 1.5m deep and 3.5m wide, giving a maximum width for the defences of 10m. North of the Military Road, the ditch has been disturbed by the construction of a 20th century military building.

The southern rampart utilises an outcrop of bedrock for much of its length. It is fronted by a narrow ledge 5m wide and 30m long at its western end. The rampart is breached at a point 35m east of the south-western angle; this is probably the result of erosion caused by a footpath. East of this breach, the earthwork is smaller in scale and comprises a bank, 110m long, 1.5m wide and 0.5m high. Disturbance caused by the construction of the Military Road occurs at ST 29895887, and east of this the bank changes direction and becomes less well-defined. The bank terminates at the Military Road at its eastern end, where it has been much disturbed by quarrying. There is no evidence for its extension east of the Military Road.

On the northern side of the earthwork, the ground falls away very sharply to the cliffs on the edge of Brean Down; this area has been disturbed by the construction of 20th century military buildings and no defensive remains are visible. None are shown on a 19th century map of Brean Down, which depicts the earthwork as very similar to its present day appearance.

Wychbury Hill (Hillfort)

Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?

Those visiting who pass the otherwise anonymous obelisk next to the fort might notice the old graffiti "Who put Bella in the Witch Elm?" painted on the base.

Rather macabrely, it relates to the discovery by four children in 1943 of the skeletonised remains of a women placed inside a tree in nearby Hagley Wood (not the hillfort, thankfully). The murder remains unsolved.

West Hill (Quantock Hills) (Cairn(s))

Two large cairns on West Hill and Fire Beacon. Pastscape descriptions:
Fire Beacon cairn (ST 1491 3697)

A Bronze Age cairn located on the summit of Fire Beacon, a south west facing hill in the western region of the Quantock Hills. The cairn is of irregular shape with a spread mound, approximately 2 metres above ground level at its highest point and 26 metres in diameter. The surface of the mound has been disturbed which may indicate that a partial excavation has been carried out, probably in antiquity. Scheduled.

West Hill cairn (ST 15433719)

A very large platform cairn lies on the summit of West Hill at ST 1542 3717. The cairn comprises a rather disturbed stony mound, 28m in diameter and 1.6m high. Stone has been taken from the mound, probably to build the nearby enclosure bank. Despite this disturbance, the vestiges of a bank around the north part of the mound, and a central mound, 10m NS x 12m EW x 1m high, may be original features, suggesting that the cairn may have been an embanked platform cairn with a central mound.

Wilmot's Pool (Round Barrow(s))

There are two cairns at Wilmot's Pool. Pastscape descriptions:
Western barrow (ST 15303813)

A large Bronze Age barrow lies on the southeast side of Wilmot's Pool at ST 15310 38135. The barrow comprises a circular mound 21m in diameter. The top of the mound has a circular depression in it, 10m NS x 8m EW x 1.5m deep. This may be the result of antiquarian excavations or it may be the site of a beacon fire. The semi-circular bank on the south edge of the mound is formed of material from this hollow. A small satellite cairn, 5m NS x 4m EW x 0.6m high lies on the southeast side of the barrow and compares to a similar feature on the southeast side of the barrow on Beacon Hill.

Wilmot's Pool is a pond, teardrop-shaped, 45m x 30m and some 1.5m deep. It still holds water in the winter, although the north side has been breached. The pond is of considerable antiquity: it appears on a map of 1609 (Somerset Record Office 1609 A plot of Quantock belonging to the right honourable the earle of Northumberland DD/SAS C/923). Narrow ridge and furrow ploughing has slighted its west and southwest sides. The pond was probably dug in the medieval period for watering stock on the commons.

Eastern cairn (ST 15483813)

A large embanked platform cairn lies some 200m to the east of Wilmot's Pool at ST 1548 3813. The cairn comprises a circular mound, 17m in diameter and 1.1m high. The bank which runs around the perimeter of the mound is 0.8m wide and 0.8m high. A mound 3.4m in diameter and 0.8m high is placed to the northwest of centre on top of the mound.

Thorncombe Barrow (Round Barrow(s))

As well as the main Thorncombe Barrow, there is a group of three further barrows on the summit of Thorncombe Hill to the southeast, centred on ST131391.

These are very low and (at the time of writing) heavily overgrown with heather.

Pastscape descriptions:
Three Bronze Age burial cairns lie on the summit of Thorncombe Hill. The largest of these three cairns lies at ST 13199 39105. This is a low, stony mound with a flat top, 8.5m in diameter and 0.5m high. The top of the mound has a central depression, 1.6m x 1.4m x 0.5m deep. The cairn has been cut through by a track which has exposed much of the west side of the cairn. Some 30m to the northwest, at ST 13175 39123, is a second cairn. This is a circular mound, 4.4m in diameter and 0.7m high, with a small central depression. A third cairn lies some 100m to the north at ST 13150 39224. This is a circular stony mound, 5m high and 0.7m high. The west edge of the cairn has been clipped by a track.

Cwm Bwchel, Black Mountains (Round Cairn)

Slightly longer description of the cairn and cist from GGAT, hinting that there may be a deliberately incised V in one of the cist slabs:
The cairn described by OS workers (1975 & 1979) is a partially destroyed round barrow cist situated in open heathland. The mound is circular in form, the N area is almost level whilst the SE area is more substantial in height. It would appear that the N-NW-W of the mound has been robbed away leaving a slight curved earthwork around the cairn's former boundary. To the central S area of the cairn is an impressive cist (diameter; 2m x 1.2m x height; 0.65m) of two long parallel flagstone slabs aligned NE-SW, with smaller slabs (0.4m) defining each open end. There is a linear incision mark (0.16m long) on the inside of the S cist slab that does not appear natural; the incision is 'V' shaped and may have been caused by prehistoric stone rubbing. To the S of the cist is the only area of exposed boulders.
Dimensions: diameter 15.5m; height 1.4m (max)
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