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

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Mitchell's Fold (Stone Circle) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Mitchell's Fold</b>Posted by awrc<b>Mitchell's Fold</b>Posted by awrc

Corton Long Barrow — Images

<b>Corton Long Barrow</b>Posted by awrc

Corton Long Barrow — Fieldnotes

A neolithic long barrow on the West Wiltshire Downs. 19th century excavations revealed eight skeletons and two cremation burials in an urn.

The site can be best seen from an old rutted trackway heading up to the Ridgeway from Model Farm, to the west of Corton. There's no direct access, but there's a good gap in the tree cover along the track just past the barrow, where you can look back at it.

The barrow itself, as with many others, has trees growing on top of it, but is surrounded by corn, so at least has some visual integrity.

Boyton Down Round Barrow (Round Barrow(s)) — Images

<b>Boyton Down Round Barrow</b>Posted by awrc

Boyton Down Round Barrow (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

This is one of the best round barrows I've seen: beautifully poised on the downs with magnificent views - it's only a pity the dead can't see, I suppose.

The MAGIC website says: "The monument includes a bowl barrow set below the crest of a north-facing slope in an area of undulating chalk downland and with extensive views of the Wylye Valley to the north and east. The barrow appears as a conical mound 25m in diameter and stands to a height of c.3m. Partial excavation of the site by Cunnington in the 19th century produced a cremation burial contemporary with construction of the monument as well as later intrusive burials. Although no longer visible at ground level a ditch, from which material was quarried during construction of the monument, surrounds the mound. This has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature c.3m wide. "

Boyton Down Long Barrow — Images

<b>Boyton Down Long Barrow</b>Posted by awrc

Boyton Down Long Barrow — Fieldnotes

Not much to see here, alas, although there is an excellent tumulus very nearby. The barrow is adjacent to a road, but obscured by tree and shrub growth all over it.

The MAGIC website has this to say: "The monument includes a long barrow set on the crest of a hill in an area of undulating chalk downland and with extensive views of the Wylye valley to the north and east. The barrow mound is ovoid in shape and orientated east-west. It is 50m long, 20m wide and stands 2m high when viewed from the north. The central area of the barrow mound has been partially excavated in the past although no details are known. Although no longer visible at ground level flanking ditches, from which material was quarried during construction of the monument, run parallel to the north and south sides of the mound. These have become infilled over the years but survive as buried features c.3m wide. The ditch north of the barrow mound lies beneath a metalled track, the surface of which is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is included. The monument may be the `Maeden Beorge' described in a charter of AD968."

Upton Great Barrow (Round Barrow(s)) — Images

<b>Upton Great Barrow</b>Posted by awrc

Upton Great Barrow (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Upton Great Barrow belies its name in the sense that you'd not know it was there without a map. Like many of the barrows in this area, it is hidden in trees - in this case hidden all around, and fenced off to boot, but at least very near a trackway.

A Bronze Age bell barrow, 175' wide, and formerly with a bank around the ditch.

Alas some philistine has put some kind of ugly water container on the top.

Cuddy's Cave (Doddington) (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Fieldnotes

This astonishing cave, in a giant rock like an elephants foot rising out of nowhere, is on the southern side of the main Doddington complex. (It is not listed on the site.)

Cuddy's Cave (Doddington) (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Images

<b>Cuddy's Cave (Doddington)</b>Posted by awrc

Doddington Stone Circle — Fieldnotes

This circle took a hell of a lot of finding on a very foggy day - be warned that the footpaths are not easy to delineate...

Doddington Stone Circle — Images

<b>Doddington Stone Circle</b>Posted by awrc

Hepburn Crags Camp (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Hepburn Crags Camp</b>Posted by awrc

Hepburn Crags Camp (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

There are incredible views from this earthwork fort across to the Chillingham estate - with the spooky ruin of Hepburn Bastle in the foreground (the family was killed by border reivers, and the atmosphere is very eerie).

Old Bewick (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Fieldnotes

I have to agree with others about the astonishing atmosphere here - it is probably the most breathtaking site of its kind I have ever visited (in 2002, in my case), too.

Some practical notes: the main marks are to be found on the north side of the top of the hill: there's a gate which a farmer has sagely put into the fence that divides his land from the actual Old Bewick Hillfort. The OS Explorer map is a bit misleading with its 'Cup & ring' label.

Old Bewick (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Images

<b>Old Bewick</b>Posted by awrc<b>Old Bewick</b>Posted by awrc

Old Bewick Hillfort — Images

<b>Old Bewick Hillfort</b>Posted by awrc<b>Old Bewick Hillfort</b>Posted by awrc

Weetwood Moor (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Fieldnotes

These pictures were taken just when it began to rain: it took a fair bit of hopping from hummock to hummock to find these rocks.

Take the track opposite the bend in the B6348, and there's a gate/stile with a public footpath going through the gorse on the right-hand side. The rocks are spread across a fairly wide area ahead and to the right - worth spending a while here to find the best ones.

Weetwood Moor (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Links

Weetwood Moor

Someone has posted more pictures and drawings of the Weetwood Moor carvings here.

Weetwood Moor (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Images

<b>Weetwood Moor</b>Posted by awrc<b>Weetwood Moor</b>Posted by awrc<b>Weetwood Moor</b>Posted by awrc

Hurl Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Folklore

William Weaver Tomlinson, the first edition of whose Guide to Northumberland was published in 1888, says that the name Hurl Stone is probably a corruption of 'Earl's Stone'. He goes on to say...

"According to a local tradition, some persons once exploring the subterranean passage which is said to extend from the Caterane's Cave on Bewick Moor to the Henhole on Cheviot, had got as far as the Hurle Stone when their lights went out, and they heard above them strange voices repeating, amid the trampling of horses' feet, the elfin rhyme -

'Hup, hup, and gee again!
Round and round the Hurle Stone.'

Terror-stricken, they retraced their footsteps through the darkness to the mouth of the cave as fast as possible."

Hurl Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Hurl Stone</b>Posted by awrc<b>Hurl Stone</b>Posted by awrc

Hurl Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Miscellaneous, the MAGIC link actually suggests it *is* prehistoric, and has signs of cup marks in it. Phew!

Long Ivor Farm (Henge) — Fieldnotes

(Note that there are several Deverill Roads in this area: this is the one going from Longbridge Deverill to Sutton Veny.)

I too have been back and forth along this road looking for the henge and finally found it today: a notable depression in the field, but hard to see from the road unless the light catches it - go in the late afternoon or early evening!

Egbert's Stones (Standing Stones) — Folklore

The story of Egbert's Stone is an early English rather than a megalithic one, of course: in 878ce, King Alfred rallied armies from three counties (Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire - apparently the Dorset men were occupied at the coast) to fight the Danes.

Tradition has it that they met at Egbert's Stone - and there are at least three different sites claiming to be that of the stone (others being a three-counties boundary post at Bourton, and the site of the 18th century folly King Alfred's Tower - both are a few miles from Kingston), although it seems that the Kingston Deverill site (or, rather, Court Hill, where the stones are assumed to have come from) is regarded as the strongest claimant.

After the armies met, they marched to Ethandun (Edington) and defeated the Danes - somewhere near the White Horse of Westbury/Bratton.

Egbert's Stones (Standing Stones) — Fieldnotes

In terms of actually visiting the site, I should point out that it's in a private paddock, part of a large estate, I believe, at the back of the church. When I visited, the paddock was shared by a Shetland pony and a beautifully pristine white goat (ideal for sacrifice?).

To reach the stones: there is a wooden gate on the main B3095 just before the church if you are coming from Longbridge Deverill. Go through the gate into a small area of scrub land (I assume this is private, so obviously tread lightly), through which various paths meander up to the fence around the paddock containing the stones. That's where I took the picture from.

There is also a more distant view of the stones from just along the side road to Maiden Bradley, and a private lane that goes to the large house.

I've been searching for these sarsen stones for some time...

The story in the area (see Folklore) is that these marked the place where King Alfred addressed his forces before the Battle of Edington.

They are believed to be the remains of a chambered mound, with the back and cap stones assumed to have been nabbed by a farmer. And on that theme, a Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine of 1877 states "certain large stones were examined: they are called 'Egbert's Stones' or 'King's Stones' and are spoken of by the Saxon Chroniclers; they were brought by a farmer from King's Court Hill, where King Egbert is traditionally said to have held court…"

('Kingston' may mean 'King's stone', or may not.)

Terence Meaden (albeit a controversial figure) has been campaigning for the stones to be returned to Court Hill (ST835368), where he believes the original chambered mound lay. (The area is rich in long barrows and tumuli.)

Egbert's Stones (Standing Stones) — Images

<b>Egbert's Stones</b>Posted by awrc
Enthusiast of megalithic (as well as Roman and mediaeval) sites, formerly based in Warminster, Wiltshire and now in Oxford. My site:

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