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

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Whitsbury Castle Ditches (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

I parked next to the post box and wandered up to this one via the entrance to the Manor.

The banks are impressively high and steep, but pretty heavily wooded, so it's not really possible to walk right around the top of the bank (I gave up when I slid down the ditch for the second time while trying to swing round a tree using a branch which wasn't attached to anything).

The bank now surrounds a stud farm, and was a bit lacking in atmosphere. Nice horses, though.

Whitsbury Down Long Barrow — Fieldnotes

It's not easy to get a handle on this one, as it's set in a dense (although small) bit of woodland.

I couldn't see any sign of an entrance to the barrow, although I think that the surrounding ditch is shallower at the eastern end.

Easy to get to from the road/track from Whitsbury village, although you have to walk to the far side of the wood before reaching the break in the surrounding fence.

It's an atmosheric spot (lots of dark twisted trees) and I stayed for quite a while, in spite of lots of pheasant feeding equipment in the area, which made me a bit nervous of being either shot at or accosted by a game keeper.

The Spinsters' Rock (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>The Spinsters' Rock</b>Posted by grrr

Nine Stones (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Nine Stones</b>Posted by grrr

Nine Stones (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Known as the nine stones, this is a small-ish ring of around a dozen stones. It's hard to tell exactly how many, as there are many fallers, and I suspect that some have been "restored". Yesterday there were certainly two recent additions, both of which wobbled when touched, and one of which had a patch of dead "I've had a stone lying on me, but not for long" grass behind it.

The circle is about 25ft across, and apparently it was originally a ring of up to 40 stones around a central cairn. It's not known whether the ring formed part of the cairn or was a seperate boundary decoration.

If you fancy it (and you should), the directions on the excellent megalithic walks site are spot on. There's a helpful link to the Nine Stones below.

Hod Hill (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

In the TMA book Julian suggests you climb Hod Hill first and this is very good advice. I loved Hod Hill - but ANYTHING would be an anti-climax after Hambledon!

It's like hearing a great band for the first time - you want to tell everyone about it and keep it a secret all at once. On a misty Thursday in October I had the whole place to myself and felt honoured to be alone in this magic kingdom.

Pyrford Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

About 2' high, this is next to a busy-ish road at the entrance to some kind of private estate.

The plaque mentions that the stone is definitely pre-norman (presumably a Domesday book reference), but beyond that, not much is known.

Found some great conkers, but beyond that, a pretty dull experience!
new to the whole megalithic thing, but learning slowly how much there is to learn.

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