Come off the M27 at junction 7, then the A334, then the A27 north.
Turn right along the B3035 then the minor road on the left just before the hospital.
You will then see Monarch Way on your left – park here.
The Barrow is in the patch of grass next to the road.
There is virtually nothing to see here, just a very slight ‘mound’ in the middle of the grass. If you didn’t know it was there you certainly wouldn’t spot it.
Not one to recommend.
From the pretty town of Arundel take the minor roads north east to the delightful village of Burpham. Park next to the church and take the footpath opposite which leads past the George and Dragon pub and the village hall. Follow the obvious (but muddy) path on past the small play ground and out onto the Promontory Fort.
Fortunately the snow and rain we encountered on our way south had relented and all was dry if overcast. Karen and the children opted to stay in the car while I headed out alone.
Although there is little/nothing to be seen of the fort it is still a lovely place to visit.
It was a very quiet spot except for the shotguns going off in the distance. I startled several rabbits and pheasants on my approach. There are decent views to be had all around.
As for the Fort itself there was nothing I could see in the way of defences.
Although not raised very high above the surrounding area the natural steepness of the banks seem to have been the main defence? I could see no sign of ant extra ditches/ramparts etc.
Worth a visit for the surroundings more so than for any archaeological remains.
From the centre of Crickhowell heading south, take the first left and follow the minor road uphill until a wood appears on your left. The ‘earthwork’ is hidden amongst the trees.
The road is very narrow and parking difficult. There is no public right of way to the site and access would be over a barbed wire fence and a battle through the trees.
As I had the children and granddaughter in the car (who was restless) I decided not to leave them in the car whilst I attempted a visit.
One for another day perhaps?
‘Llangenny Camp is a sub-rectangular enclosure 70m x 52m defined by a bank, possible stone walled, and ditch, resting on the steep natural slopes to the south’.
From the centre of Crickhowell (a favourite place of mine) heading south, take the first minor road left and then the first left again. Go up the hill until you see a metal field gate on your right – park as close to here as you can. Hop over the gate and the standing stone will be visible near some trees on your right.
The first thing to strike me was the sheer size of the stone – it’s a whopper! – much to big to be just a boundary stone.
Well over head height and covered in white and green lichen.
As I stood there admiring this fine stone I was startled by the ‘crack’ of an air rifle being fired. I looked over and saw a man in full camouflage laying on the ground taking pot shots at targets further up the field. Talk about being surprised! I hadn’t seen him and he obviously hadn’t seen me.
I assume he was allowed to be there? Although I could hardly complain as I clearly wasn’t!
I decided it was perhaps not best to hang around too long!
This stone is well worth a visit when in the area. It certainly looks like an ‘old stone’ to me. Just watch out for men in camouflage!
From Usk take the B4598 north. Shortly after driving through Llanfair Kilgeddin you come to a left hand turn – park here. Look across the field to your right (crop field) and you will see the long, low mound of the largely ploughed out Barrow.
I was a bit worried about seeing anything with all the snow we have had lately but it wasn’t a problem as most of it had been washed away with the overnight rain.
I think if you visited when the field was in crop you wouldn’t see anything.
Go visit the nearby Coed-Y-Bwnydd Hillfort instead – much better!
From Monmouth take the B4233 through Rockfield. Keep on the road until you drive through The Hendre and then take the first left immediately after the entrance to the golf club. You will then shortly come to a fork in the road with a passing place – park here. You are now parked immediately next to the Barrow; the other side of the hedge.
This is a fairly large Barrow and easy to spot.
I didn’t bother to battle my way through the hedge as there seemed little point.
Not really worth the effort of visiting unless you happened to be in the area.
From Porthcawl town centre follow the signs for Rest Bay. There is a large Pay and Display car park opposite the Lifeguard station.
From the lifeguard station take the coastal footpath north (sea on left) until you come to another footpath which leads inland on your right.
At this point you will need to cross a barbed wire fence and follow the field boundary wall until the Barrow comes into view on your right
**Please note that the Barrow in not visible from either footpath. You will need to negotiate the fence and do a little bit of ‘trespassing’ to get a view**
Well, you can’t say the weather forecasters got it wrong. ‘Snow on Friday from 5.00am’ they said and sure enough at 4.45am it started to snow. By 8.00am it was clear that there was no work for me today. Therefore sledging, snowball fights and snowman building was the order of the day with the children and Karen. Saturday was pretty much the same with the snow showing no sign of thawing and cars not moving.
By Sunday we were going a bit ‘stir crazy’ and decided it was time to get our for a couple of hours.
The question was, of course, where to go given the weather?
There was no chance of driving along any country lanes due to the snow so I needed somewhere where access would be a lot easier? ‘I know’ says I ‘the beach!’
After the initial shock everyone came around to my way of thinking and the children quickly grabbed their coats and buckets and spades. Porthcawl here we come!
Before hitting the beach of course I had a little bit of ‘old stoning’ to do.
Karen stayed in the car with the children as I walked down the beach and along the coastal path. About 20 intrepid surfers braved the cold – hardy bunch those surfers.
The path starts off as a concrete track but soon becomes a wooden walkway. A barrier had been placed across the walkway with a sign informing me that due to sea erosion this section of the path was closed to the public pending repairs.
Obviously, I ignored the sign and walked around the barrier. That was easy enough although walking along the walkway itself proved more difficult. The wooden slats were covered in snow / ice and it was far too slippery to walk on. Instead I chose to walk along the edge of the path, keeping to the pebbles.
Snow flurries started up as I reached the point where the second path appears on the right. I stood on the wall but could not spot the Barrow due to the undulating fields. The only way to get closer was to hop over the double barbed wired fence (more difficult because of the snow) and walk along the field wall. This I did and before too long I reached the Barrow. The remains of Sker House loomed in the background.
I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to see it due to the snow but I needn’t have worried as the top was clear of snow and three sheep were taking advantage to eat away at the only available grass in the field.
COFLEIN gives the following details:
‘This is a round barrow, 11m in diameter and 0.8m high. It is likely to be a prehistoric funerary monument’.
Before long it was time to head back to the car and go and build some sand/snow castles!
It is a 30 minute walk from the car park to the Barrow.
After returning home and doing a bit more research it turns out that there are another 3 Barrows in the same field which I was unaware of (my O/S map only showed the one Barrow). I didn’t see anything obvious although the field was covered in snow and I wasn’t specifically looking for any more. One to keep an eye out for if visiting the site.
From Brecon take the A470 south and immediately after the A4215 turning (on the right) take the minor road on the left. It has a N.T. signpost for somewhere or other.
Follow the road until you come to a white house (TY Canol) and take the turning left.
(Straight on takes you to the N.T. place).
Continue along this very narrow rough ‘road’ until you come to the first metal field gate on your left. (There is a passing place opposite the gate where you can briefly park).
Hop over the gate and head across the field, towards the trees, where you will find the Hillfort.
It had been a lovely sunny day on the Brecon Beacons with not a breath of wind (probably the first time I have ever experienced that up here!) There were plenty of people out and about but unsurprising there was no one about at this place. Just as well given that there was nowhere to park and the ‘road’ is not much wider than the car. Karen, Sophie and Dafydd stayed in the car as I went out exploring – although I was on a tight time limit as Karen wanted to catch the burger van on top of the Beacons for a cuppa before it closed!
Now, it’s not very often you walk downhill to a Hillfort but that’s exactly what you do here.
The field slopes gently down towards the wood and is a pleasant if boggy walk. To add to the occasion it started to snow which was nice!
At first I mistook the curving gulley of a stream as part of the Hillfort’s defences before realising my mistake and spotting the real thing in amongst the trees.
I was surprised how well defined the defences were. I spotted three lines of defences.
The outer ditch/bank was about 1.5m high, the inner two a more impressive 2.5m high.
The whole site is covered in trees although it was still easy to make out the ramparts.
As previously stated I didn’t have time to explore the whole site and all too soon it was time to squelch back to the car.
This is a good place to visit although be warned that the road is narrow and rough and the ONLY place to park is in the passing place – so a driving ‘assistant’ is handy!
‘A promontory fort/defended enclosure, resting on steep slopes above the Afon Tarell to the North and tributary defiles to the East and West, whilst the approach from the South is barred by a multivallate façade, of two to four ramparts. The interior is divided into two natural spurs’.
Follow the directions given for Cwm Henwen Standing Stone
From the parking area take the overgrown steps up the grass bank opposite and head towards the equally overgrown picnic table to the right. Hop over the barbed wire fence, through the open field gate to the right and over the next barbed wire fence.
The stone becomes visible when you reach the brow of the hill.
Dafydd and Sophie decided they wanted to join me on this little adventure (Karen was happy to sit in the car overlooking the reservoir and read her book in peace and quiet!)
Dafydd wanted to take ‘the lead’ and headed up to the overgrown picnic area. Sophie let it be known that she had no intention of walking and so I carried her in Dafydd’s wake.
When we reached the barbed wire fences I carefully lifted the children over before hopping over myself. Sheep scattered as we walked up through the fields.
‘Are we allowed in this field Dad?’ enquired Dafydd
‘Erm..... not exactly’ I honestly replied!
Sophie was more intent on watching the fleeing sheep to be bothered about trespass laws!
The stone itself is a whopper and well worth the effort of a visit.
It is a dark red/purple colour – the same type of stone as Maen Llia (probably my favourite standing stone) and the nearby Cwm Henwen standing stone.
The stone is almost pyramid in shape and the top half of it is covered in a thick matting of moss – almost as if protecting the stone from the worst of the Brecon Beacons weather.
Several large grooves run down the side of the stone – adding even more character.
Two largish stones lay flat on the ground at its base – packing stones?
There are several large field clearance stones you pass propped up against the fence when walking up to this fine standing stone.
Before long we all waved goodbye to the stone and headed back to the car.
Certainly a site to recommend.
Please see directions given for Cwm Henwen Standing Stone.
The Cairn is to the immediate north of the stone –the other side of a barbed wire fence.
The Cairn is easy to spot with stones protruding from the ground clearly showing its outline. All the stones are less that 1ft high and covered in masses of moss – which isn’t surprising given the amount of rain they get in the Brecon Beacons!
Most of the Cairns stones have been removed unfortunately.
‘A plundered cairn, 14m by 12.5m and 0.9m high, whose center has been dug out, leaving a tail of spoil to the NE’
From Trecastle (A40) follow the signs for the Usk Reservoir (5 miles).
When you arrive at the reservoir there is a car park and picnic area.
Walk across the dam to the far side of the reservoir and follow the road to the left.
As you walk past the trees you will see a forestry track with a locked metal barrier.
Walk up the track and after a short distance you will see a ‘path’ on your right heading through the trees. Follow this ‘path’ and you will shortly come to a metal gate.
Go through the gate and the standing stone is immediately in front of you – can’t miss it!
(There is a road which runs around the reservoir from the car park to the start of the forestry track if you would prefer not to walk. However, it is a very pleasant walk along the top of the dam and well worth the minimal effort required)
The stone is a rich red colour (same as Mean LLia) and is largely covered in moss.
COFLEIN reckon the stone is 1.4m high but I would say it is less than 1m.
It is so close to the nearby Cairn that you would think the two are connected somehow?
Is this the stump of a once taller stone?
If it wasn’t for the trees there would be good views over the reservoir.
Worth the effort to see when visiting this fairly remote but pretty part of the Brecon Beacons.
From the A4093 take the B4564 (sign posted Gilfach Goch).
Where the road forks, stay left and drive past the pub (Old Gilfach Goch? – I think it was called) which will be on your right.
A little further up the road (on your left) you will see a small tarmac area which is blocked off with large boulders. This is next to a ruined derelict building.
There is room to park in front of the boulders off the road.
Walk up the tarmac, past the small wooden cross (in memory of Mr and Mrs Adams) which is directly behind a large round boulder, over the metal field gate and head directly up the very steep hillside.
You should then come out pretty much right on top of the cairns – assuming you haven’t died falling off the near vertical section on the way up!
My first (and nearly last!) site visit of 2013.
We had planned to go to Cheddar for the day but for various reasons (which I won’t bore you with) it didn’t happen. This left me ‘stranded’ at home feeling like a caged animal. Karen obviously felt ‘the vibe’ and suggested I go out somewhere on my own – probably to get me out of the house!
It was by now early afternoon so I looked through my notes to try to find somewhere I hadn’t been to which wasn’t too far away. So Gilfach Goch here I come!
After clambering up the very steep (and rather dangerous) hillside it was my good fortune to come out very close to the cairns. Coflein states there are 6 cairns although I was only able to spot 4.
The top of the hill was the usual open moorland with lots of clumps of ‘spiky grass’.
It was very mild for the time of year with only a slight wind. The sky was full of dark brooding clouds although the sun was doing its best to break through. Nearby, several wind turbines were in the process of being erected and over in the distance many more were slowly turning in the breeze. The view down on the village was pretty good although there wasn’t much of view in any other direction otherwise. A cockerel was giving its all in the distance – despite it being mid afternoon. Perhaps he got up late!
As for the cairns themselves – which were all pretty close together:
Cairn 1 – 0.5m high x 5m across – grass covered
Cairn 2 – 0.3m high x 5m across – covered in ‘spiky grass’
Cairn 3 – 0.3m high x 3m across – covered in rough grass
Cairn 4 – 0.3m high x 5m across – grass covered.
The site feels a lot more remote than it actually is
One for the dedicated (mad) only.
Oh, and by the way, it helps if you are fit and not afraid of heights!
‘Six small cairns, 3-5m in diameter and c0.5m high, set on the E side of Mynydd Maes-teg, in an area where no other evidence of settlement or clearance has been noted’.
I have visited Kenfig Sands a couple of times over the years. The first time was when I was looking for the scant remains of the castle in the pouring rain.
It is surprisingly easy to lose your bearings in the dunes (well it is for me anyway!) and by the time I found the castle I was 'soaked to the bone'.
There was a Time Team episode filmed at the dunes a couple of years ago.
Take the B4263 north through Abertridwr and then Senghenydd.
Continue through Senghenydd and take the minor road across Eglwysilan Common.
Just past the brick building/fencing on the left there is a large parking area (near the pylons) – park here. All you then need to do is follow the track west towards the next set of electric pylons – about a 10 minute easy walk.
It was a beautiful day. Dark blue sky, not a cloud in sight. High above jets formed a criss-cross of white vapour trails. There was no wind and all was silent. Even the sheep seemed to equally be enjoying the day. The rutted track had many large puddles, all frozen solid after the overnight frost. It was a great day to be out ‘old stoning’. On such a clear day the Brecon Beacons could be easily seen in the distance. More closely the windows on the houses in the village of Senghenydd sparkled in the afternoon sunlight.
The only things to spoil the atmosphere were the pylons (which I guess we have to accept) and yet again, the amount of litter, beer cans and burnt out mattresses etc (which we most certainly do not have to accept). What is it with some Valley’s folk? I have been to many sites in the South Wales Valleys and they all have one thing in common – dumped rubbish. Why do people do this? After all, it’s not exactly an easy place to dump rubbish. Why not take it to the tip or call the council out like normal people? The older I get the more despairing of people I get. I know it’s only a minority but illegally dumping rubbish in South Wales seems to be a popular hobby!
Anyway, onto more positive things.
Before visiting this site I had a look to see what COFLEIN had to say:
‘On Eglwysilan Common several tumuli opened in 1753. The urns were all broken by the workmen – they each lay upon a flat stone and another over them. One of a group of 3 cairns located on Mynydd Eglwsilan’. Sounded promising.
The first Cairn you come to is very easy to find. Next to the track on the right, just before the electricity cables, near the wooden footpath sign.
It consists of a large deposit of grey stones, spread out to a diameter of about 15m and a height of 0.5m. Patches of ferns growing through the Cairn.
Several kerb stones could be seen – some covered in grass. The kerb stones above the ground were covered in moss. The Cairn has a pronounced ‘rim’ surrounding it.
The second Cairn is another easy to spot – about 20m further along the track on the same side. It was more ruined than the first and was approximately 8m across x 0.3m high. Basically another file of grey stones, partly grassed over.
The third Cairn is also straight forward to find (although I went too far uphill and it took me a while!). Walk along the track and as soon as you come under the electricity cables it is immediately on your right. The centre of this Cairn has a large hollow dug out of the middle and again, is very ruined. You could hear the buzz and crackle of the electricity running through the cables.
I wonder what the ancients would have thought of it all?
On such a nice day, in such a nice location (ignoring said pylons and rubbish) I sat for a while and contemplated the meaning of life. No, I didn’t come up with any answers!
All in all an easy site to access and well worth a visit when in the area.
This Cairn is slightly north of the Carneddi Llwdion Cairns.
Only problem is I couldn’t find it!
‘A flat topped grass covered cairn. There are many large stones protruding from the surface and two large kerb stones’
A day off work all to myself and not a cloud in the sky.
Only one thing for it then – a bit of ‘old stoning’!
Not much money and not much petrol so something close to home required.
Looking at my Cardiff and Area O/S map I spot a couple of sites I haven’t had chance to visit yet. That’s that sorted then.
The first of these are the two Cairns called as ‘The Bryn’ (The Hill)
After eventually navigating my way through the maze of roads in Penyrheol (just outside Caerphilly) I park up on Heol Chwarrel Clark.
** Due to road changes you will need to enter Penyrheol from the east off the roundabout on the A468 and NOT the way I first tried, from the west off the B4263**
Despite there being a heavy overnight frost I only needed a light jacket as the sun was shining and most importantly there wasn’t a breath of wind so it felt a lot warmer than it actually was.
It took 10 minutes to walk up the steep road which leads to the farm only to discover that I could have driven all the way up and parked at the entrance to the Eglwysilan Common; just over the cattle grid. Still, it was a nice walk and the exercise won’t do me any harm!
The Cairns are easy enough to find, all you have to do is follow the track used by the forestry people until you come to a padlocked metal field gate which gives access to the forestry plantation. Although my map shows a forest, it has now all been cut down and replanted with saplings – approx 6 inches high. This means spotting the larger of the two Cairns is an easy task. A further 15 min walk from the farm.
Now, my friends, comes the bad news:
I carefully walked over to the Cairn, not to step on the saplings, and climbed to the top. I then looked down in horror.
The centre of the Cairn had been dug into so much it resembled a crater.
But much, much worse was the fact that this ‘crater’ was being used as a bin. (Presumably by the people who cut the trees down as I can’t see how this much rubbish could have been generated by anyone else up here?)
It was a complete and utter mess. Bags and bags full of beer and cider cans, food wrappers and the like. It would have taken a mini skip to have cleared this lot. It has clearly been used as a bin for quite some time.
I could talk about people’s ignorance and contempt for ancient sites (particularly someone’s final resting place) but I would be wasting my breath. It is not often I feel anger – but I felt angry now. My anger was only matched by my shock and horror.
The Cist slab which Coflein talks about was clearly not going to be seen by me today.
I sat on a tree trunk and surveyed the situation.
Here I was sat on a desecrated Cairn in the middle of a forestry plantation that had been taken to the saw. All around was the spoil of the ‘harvest’. The Cairn itself seemed to be wearing a crown of dead tree stumps – it seemed apt somehow. The who area felt ‘dead’ although no doubt once the new trees start to grow it will feel different? This was not a place to dwell for too long – far too sad.
The smaller Cairn showing on the map I couldn’t even find. It must have been buried under the debris of the tree felling.
The only positives I can take from my visit is that the Cairn has not been replanted with saplings and I did pick up a cross section of tree trunk which I took home for Dafydd to take to school to show his teacher and the children about how to date a tree from the number of rings. I guess most of the children won’t ever get out to these type of locations to see for themselves? Dafydd of course knows better!
‘Two cairns on ground falling gently to the west. The larger cairn is 24.4m in diameter and 2.5m high – centre deeply hollowed exposing a cist slab. 23m north is the smaller cairn, 4.5m in diameter and 0.3 to 0.9m high’.
An E-Mail to CADW is in order to inform them of the state of the Cairn.
Perhaps they can have a word with the forestry people?
Certainly worth a visit but be prepared for the rubbish – unless of course it has been cleared up by then?
WOW – what a great place to visit!
I had read a lot about Danebury and am pleased to report that it didn’t disappoint.
The weather was menacing, with brooding black clouds all around.
Although for now, thankfully, it remained dry.
We parked at the first car park we came to not realising that you can drive up to the top of the hill into the main car park – where the toilets are (although they were shut due to the water levels in the reservoir?)
Dafydd decided that he fancied a walk and donned his waterproofs while Karen stayed in the car with the sleeping Sophie. By the time we reached the main car park he was already flagging!
It is only a short uphill walk across flat grass (much frequented by dog walkers) and you are soon at the entrance to the Hillfort.
There is an information board with an artist’s impression of how the entrance would have looked which is pretty good. The info board stated that seven other Hillforts can be seen from Danebury.
We walked up the wooden staircase and walked around the Hillfort in an anti-clockwise direction. By the time we got half way round Dafydd’s legs started to ‘hurt’ as they often do when walking any distance!
The rain stayed away (despite the looming clouds) and it was clear to see that this site was in a dominant position within the landscape.
As we completed the circuit (with me by now carrying Dafydd) the inevitable rain started to fall. We sheltered under the trees and I took one last look at the well preserved entrance and tried to imagine how impressive this site would have been when in use.
We headed down the hill back to the car and past yet more dog walkers – they seem to like this place as much as I do! Time to head home. A great site to end my weekend ‘adventures’.
If you are ever in the area this is a ‘must see’ site which is really easy to access – and signposted too!
A short distance west along the same minor road leading from the Barrow Field Clumps Barrow Cemetery.
'The monument includes two bowl barrows, aligned broadly east-west, the most easterly of a small linear group of barrows which lie on a gentle south facing slope to the south of Cholderton Park. The best preserved, most westerly of the two barrows has a mound 20m in diameter and 1.5m high. Surrounding this, and surviving as a buried feature c.2m wide, is the barrow ditch from which material to construct the mound was quarried. To the east of this lie the remains of a second bowl barrow, the mound of which has been truncated and is now oval, measuring 13m (east-west) by 8m and 1.5m high. This mound will also be surrounded by a ditch c.2m wide'.
I couldn't spot the Barrows.
Either I was looking in the wrong place or they have now been greatly reduced by ploughing?
From Danebury Hillfort take the road south a short distance until you come to the crossroads. The Barrow is next to the crossroads on the northern side – covered in scrub.
‘A bowl barrow, part of a linear group containing at least 5 round barrows which lie in undulating ground to the south of Waters Down Farm. An elongated mound 23m in diameter and 1.2m high and the exposed section on the roadside shows it to be constructed of chalk rubble overlying a turf core’.
** There is a further Barrow at SU3409837553 which I did not have time to investigate.
Take the A303 west out of Andover and then the A338 south, through the village of Cholderton. You will then shortly come to woodland on your left with an old, disused large gated entrance – you can pull in here.
The Barrow is easily seen right next to the road, covered in trees, behind the fence.
It is approx 1.5m high x 15m across.
E.H. have nothing to say on the matter.
We parked near the Lodge and I quickly headed up the muddy track which runs past the property.
My O/S map showed 4 Barrows here although I only achieved partial success in spotting them.
The easiest Barrow to spot is the one to the left of the track – opposite the Lodge.
It is in woodland and is approx 2m high x 20m across.
The Barrow behind the Lodge I couldn’t see due to out buildings / sheds etc which hid it from view.
The Barrow on the opposite side of the road is again in dense woodland and is now only a low mound – approx 1m high x 10m across.
I didn’t have time to look for the Barrow further up the track, also amongst trees.
All in all a bit of a disappointing visit.
For a ‘B’ road the B3404 sure is a busy one, which I guess isn’t surprising as it is one of the main roads into Winchester – which by the way is well worth a visit.
The closest we could park was in front of some houses just over the bridge.
Despite the rain it was only a 5 minute walk back up the road towards the nature reserve where the Barrows reside. (very posh school opposite!)
As soon as you enter the reserve 3 Barrows are obvious – the other side of a barbed wire fence.
The largest of the 3 Barrows is approx 1.8m high x 12m across.
The next largest is approx 1.5m high x 10m across.
The smallest being approx 1m high x 8m across.
All 3 Barrows show clear signs of being dug into.
On a nice day (not today) this would be a good place to visit – providing you can find somewhere to park of course!
‘Drive By’ 25.11.12
I had a good view of this Hillfort whilst driving along the B3084 which runs to the south of the site – there doesn’t appear to be any ‘official’ access to the Hillfort.
The rampart was easy to spot as was the southern entrance.
The northern section of the Hillfort has trees running alongside it.
Well worth a look when driving past although no doubt a proper visit would be even more beneficial?
Time was against us as it was already starting to get dark and we still had a long way to travel but I just had to visit this site as it looked so accessible for a Hillfort.
We pulled in next to the field gate and stile / footpath sign.
The gang stayed in the car as I squelched my way through ankle deep mud and through the kissing gate. It is then a very short walk to the Hillfort.
It was no surprise that the ‘path’ was so muddy given the amount of rain we have had recently although it was nice for it to be dry at the moment.
The public footpath circles the perimeter of the Hillfort although the central section is private land – an open grass field.
The Single rampart surrounding the site is totally overgrown with trees and bushes although it still stands a fair height – approx 3m high in places.
In all honesty there is not a lot to see here but if you are ever in the area and looking for a ‘easy to reach’ Hillfort then this is the place for you – just make sure you bring your wellies if it has been raining!
Take the A30 east out of Stockbridge until you come to the junction with the A272.
Turn right onto the A272 and then the first right, after the trees, along a minor road
You can park next to the bridleway which is near a farm.
The track started promisingly as it was concreted but it soon turned into a flooded quagmire which required much skirting around as I had left my wellies in the car!
After about 5 minutes you come to a metal field gate on your right.
Hop over said gate and you are soon at the two Barrows which are near the trees.
Easy enough to find and access then but unfortunately there isn’t much to see.
The Barrows are now no more than two rough patches of scrub in an otherwise crop filled field. They have clearly suffered further plough damage since E.H. last visited as they are now nowhere near as high as mentioned below.
‘Two round barrows on Crawley Down, 830m NNE of Warren House. The two barrows are aligned along a slope with the saucer barrow to the east and the bowl barrow overlying it slightly to the west. Both have been lowered as a result of modern ploughing. The saucer barrow survives as a low and indistinct circular mound approx 15m in diameter and up to 1m on the northern side. The bowl barrow survives as a slightly oval shaped mound with a max diameter of 30m and standing up to 1.8m on the down slope’.
Take the A30 east out of Stockbridge until you come to the junction with the A272.
Take the turning north (on the left) and the Barrows are in the small copse of trees on the left immediately past the farm drive.
I’m not having much luck today – either the Barrows I am looking for have been ploughed out or, as in this case, I can’t get to see them!
The problem is a 10ft high hedgerow which is so impenetrable that not only was there no way to get through it but I couldn’t even see through it.
Not sure how much you would be able to see as the Barrows could well be hidden by trees?
E.H. have nothing to say on the matter.
Take the A30 east out of Stockbridge until you come to the junction with the A272.
Take the turning north (on the left) and the Barrow should be in the field on your left right next to the road.
The only problem is I couldn’t see any trace of the Barrow.
Perhaps it has been ploughed out since E.H. last visited?
‘Long Barrow surviving as a low earthwork, situated just below the crest of a gentle SE facing slope. It survives to a length of 33m abd varies in width between 15m at the east end and 10m at the west end, standing to a maximum height of 1m. Flanking quarry ditches run parallel to the north and south sides of the mound, separated from it by narrow berms 1m wide’.
From the large A303 / A34 junction north of Winchester take the A30 south.
When you come to the first roundabout in Egypt (no sign of the pyramids!) take the first exit. You will then shortly come to a cross roads (Norton/Wonston) – park here.
There is a public right of way which takes you straight to the Barrows (5 minute walk)
It was persistently raining and Karen and the children sat in the car while squelched through the mud and up to the tree covered Barrows.
There was a sign on a fence near the Barrows which stated that the site is named after a Richard Kitson who died in 1992.
Despite being located on no more than a low rise the Barrows do afford a decent view in this fairly flat part of the world.
This is an easy site to access and I am surprised that no one has reported on it before?
‘The monument includes a bell barrow and a bowl barrow both of Bronze Age date. They are located on a slight promontory within a copse of trees formally known as Cranbourne Clump but now renamed as Kitson Clump. The bowl barrow is roughly circular, 21m in diameter and 1.2m high. The mound is deeply hollowed in the centre. The bell barrow lies 16m to the ENE and is 24m in diameter and 1.4m high. Two bronze daggers on the surface of the bell barrow’s mound are now in Winchester museum’.
‘Drive by’ 23.11.12
My old O/S map 1:50 000 First Series shows a Barrow just to the north of the A30 east out of Stockbridge. A further 3 Barrows are shown a bit further north and appear to be part of the same group?
Unfortunately there is nothing to see – ploughed out?
E.H. have nothing to say on the matter.
‘Drive by’ 23.11.12
My old O/S map 1:50 000 First Series shows a Barrow right next to the A342 at Weyhill.
I kept an eye out for the Barrow on the way down to Winchester.
Unfortunately I could see no trace of it – ploughed out?
E.H. have nothing to say on the matter.
A weekend away in Winchester and a chance to knock another couple of E.H. sites off the list.
First ‘port of call’ is this lovely little Barrow Cemetery.
As is often the case with these smaller sites, there are no E.H. signs to help show the way for the unsuspecting traveller – luckily I have my trusty O/S map!
Actually, the site is easy enough to find being near the crossroads in the centre of the field. The closest we could find to park was in Chestnut Avenue (private road!) a two minute walk away.
There is an E.H. information board (even if the details are incorrect) which has a section in Braille which is a nice touch (excuse the pun)
Despite the wet grass it was a lovely blue sky day and as expected, I had the site to myself with just the sound of birdsong for company.
As you go through the gate the large sarsen stone is on your left and a large tree trunk on your right. It feels a bit like going through an ‘entrance’ into the cemetery - although obviously it isn’t really! The sarsen stone is nice and smooth, with white and green lichen growing on its northern side. The tree has been cut right back and is now not much more than a large trunk.
The Bowl Barrow has clearly been dug into and is about 1m high x 15m across
The Disc Barrow is superb – easily the best I have ever seen.
It is about 40m across and the bank is surviving to a height of about 1m.
This is an excellent place to visit and I would highly recommend it when in the area.
My mum passed away two weeks ago after a long battle against cancer which saw her slowly waste away in front of our eyes. My sisters and I cared for her at home for most of the year and myself and Dafydd were with her when she died. I know she would have liked to have known Dafydd was in the room as he has always been the ‘chosen one’ who could do no wrong! Dafydd knows his Nan is now a star who will watch over him and keep him safe. (I am having difficulty writing this but I think it is therapeutic?)
The funeral was yesterday and this trip away was planned/booked several months ago. I do not know if the timing has turned out to be a good or bad thing.
It certainly does make you think much more about the ‘rituals’ which would have taken place when loved ones were laid to rest.
This fieldnote is dedicated to my mum who although never seeing the attraction in ‘old stones’ always encouraged me to get out and ‘see the world’.
Another visit 11.11.12
Dafydd came home with his 'homework' rom school which involved having a photo taken reading a book at an 'unusual' place (he is only 4 after all).
Ahah, thought I - I know just the place!
So off to St Lythans we went with Sophie in tow.
It was a lovely morning with a clear blue sky.
Although we passed a few peoplw visiting nearby Tinkinswood we had this site to ourselves.
We parked next to the audio machine which musch to Dafydd's disappointment is already no longer working.
The area around the gate was muddy although it improved a lot the closer we got to the chamber.
A couple of photos later and we had a quick look around the tomb. As expected all was as it should be.
On Monday morning Dafydd proudly showed his photo to his teacher. I don't suppose they had many photos from prehistoric burial chambers?!
Access is easy enough from the small parking area for Abbotsbury Castle Hillfort.
There are three Barrows to explore which are only a short distance from the car park.
The first Barrow is well mangled (technical term!) and stands next to a small derelict building of some sort. It is also close to a metal fire beacon which looks like one of those to mark the millennium? 2 huge toadstools grew nearby.
The second Barrow is approximately 1m high x 10m across and has been dug into.
It is covered in the dreaded gorse.
The third Barrow as also approx 1m x 10m and has again been dug into.
This is the best of the bunch; easy to see from a distance and covered in grass.
It is well worth the short walk to visit these Barrows when visiting the nearby Hillfort.
Great views can be had of Chesil Beach.
Surprised to find I am the first person to provide fieldnotes for this site!
Abbotsbury Castle Hillfort is very easy to access being alongside the B3157.
There is a small parking area along the minor road to the east of the site.
Access to the Hillfort from the car park is via steps and a permissive ‘path’.
Approached from the east, the two ramparts/ditches are quite substantial.
The outer rampart is about 3m high from the bottom of the ditch.
The inner rampart about 5m high.
On such a nice day there were lots of people about.
The Hillfort occupies a commanding position and affords great views out to Chesil Beach.
Due to time constraints I didn’t have time to explore the whole Hillfort so had to settle for the eastern end.
There is a ‘mound’ in the centre of the Hillfort approx 1m high x 5m across. A trig point sits on top of it.
This is an easy to access Hillfort, in good condition and with great views.
Well worth a visit when in this pretty part of the world.
‘Drive by’ 14.10.12
Driving west along the B3157 I spotted 3 Barrows – 1 on the left and 2 on the right.
Each grass covered Barrow was approximately 1 metre high x 10 metres across.
There sure are a lot of prehistoric sites in this area!
We were heading home after a weekend away and the sun shone brightly in a deep blue sky. As we headed north out of Axminster, along the A358, I looked at the AA road atlas and spotted a familiar sight (a dotted red oval) near to where we were passing – a Hillfort!
Not wishing to push my luck I pointed out to Karen what a nice evening it was and did she fancy a ‘slight detour’ on the way home?
‘What do you want to see’? She asked in a knowing way.
‘Just a quick look at a Hillfort, it’s not far from her – honest!’ I chanced.
Good old Karen, true to form she went along with my request.
After successfully negotiating a maze of country lanes relying solely on said road atlas we eventually parked up near East Membury Farm. (It made me appreciate even more the O/S maps I usually use). Right next to where we parked was a wooden stile giving obvious access to the Hillfort.
I quickly stepped over the stile and headed up the hill towards the trees.
The single rampart is constructed of stones and stands to a pretty uniform height of about 1 metre. Although the centre of the hillfort is grass, a ring of trees/bushes follow the line of the rampart. The centre of the Hillfort if not flat but convex and oval in shape. Due to the trees there is little in the way of views although I am sure they would be fine if the trees were removed – not that I am proposing that! It takes about 10 minutes to walk right around the circumference of the Hillfort. I think I identified the entrance on the eastern side.
I am very surprised that I am the first person to be posting field notes on this site as it’s a pretty goon one – and it’s featured on the AA road atlas.
If you are ever in the area I would recommend you checking it out for yourself.
On the way back down the hill I picked up some acorns – a bit more for Dafydd’s school autumn project!
‘Drive by’ 14.10.12
The Barrow is easily seen from the B3157 near the village of Burton Bradstock.
Although it is a N.T. site there is nowhere to park on the B3157.
The O/S map shows a parking area near Burton Beach and a permissive footpath leading to the south of the Barrow.
Due to time constraints I had to settle for a ‘drive by’.
The Barrow looks to be well mangled and is approximately 10 metres across x 1 metre high.
Whilst on Portland visiting Portland Castle (E.H. site – worth a visit) I took the opportunity to go and have a look at the possible remains of the stone circle.
There are several large stones interspersed within the walls either side of the road.
Most of the stones are approximately 1 metre square in size.
The stones are easy enough to spot along the road.
There’s not much else to add other than let’s hope these are the remains and that they have not been destroyed. Perhaps they will be re-erected somewhere one day?
I know it’s not ideal but it would be better than where they are at the moment.
To be honest it wasn’t until I returned home that I discovered that this site may have prehistoric origins.
In saying that it would seem an obvious site as the hill dominates the immediate surrounding area.
There is a fence which runs around the perimeter of the ‘mound’ which presumably is there to keep the sheep out of the chapel.
The chapel is still used for the occasional service and is worth a look around.
It was a lovely sunny day; breezy but blue skies.
Dafydd is learning about autumn in school and has to do a little project.
On the way up the hill we found some red berries and various leaves of red, yellow and brown.
He was happy and so was I.
People who know me often wonder why I travel the length and breadth of this great country of ours looking at ‘old stones’ – in all their forms. More to the point they often ask Karen how on earth she puts up with me and the travelling. To be fair, she usually defends our exploits on the grounds that we often go to very nice places and see wonderful scenery – Abbotsbury is a point in case.
Had it not been for the fact that I am trying to visit every E.H. site (Abbotsbury has two!) in all probability I would have never come here. But it does – and I did. And what a delightful place Abbotsbury is – very picturesque and charming. In addition to the cottages with thatched roofs, traditional country pub, village church etc it also has a Tithe Barn – something I have a ‘thing’ for. Not only that but also a swannery.
The view from the top of St Catherine’s hill is fabulous.
(Particularly on a gloriously sunny day like today with blue skies and white fluffy clouds)
You get to look over the village / church / Tithe Barn and great coastal views.
In short, if any of those who doubted why we do what we do were able to see what I was looking at while stood on the hill, perhaps they would then understand.
Abbotsbury is a great place to visit. The fact it has so many ‘old stones’ to look at in the area is a bonus. It is at times like this that you get a reminder of what a great hobby of ours this is and how fortunate we are to be ‘in the know’.
‘Drive by’ 13.10.12
If heading east after passing the Broad Stone along the busy A35 you will easily spot one of the Barrows in a field to your right.
I suspect this is the Pond Barrow?
It is approximately 1 metre high x 5 metres across.
‘Drive by’ 13.10.12
Spotted this Barrow on the map and as I was driving along the minor road just to the north of it thought I would keep an eye out.
The hedgerows don’t help but I think I spotted the Barrow as no more than a very low grass mound?
E.H. has nothing to say on the matter.
‘Drive by’ 13.10.12
This Barrow is easily seen when driving south along the minor road towards the Poor Lot Barrow cemetery.
It appears to be approximately 15 metres across x 0.5 metre high.
‘Drive by’ 13.10.12
Time was against us and there was no chance of a proper visit to have a look at these Barrows.
Three Barrows were easily seen from the road (B3159).
Two were quite large – approximately 2m high x 10m across.
The third was much smaller – approximately 1m high x 5m across
The map shows many Barrows in this area.
A proper visit is most certainly required when next in the area.
I had a quick ‘stop off’ to look for the Barrow on the way up to Eggardon Hillfort.
All that can be seen is a low grass covered mound.
‘A bowl barrow situated on the summit of a prominent steeply sided ridge. The barrow survives as a flat topped mound approx 15m in diameter and 0.6m high’.
‘Drive by’ 13.10.12
There are 3 Barrows in this group which lay a little south east of Eggardon Hillfort.
The Barrow nearest the road was just about able to be seen as a low, ploughed out grass mound.
I was not able to spot either of the other two Barrows.
E.H. has nothing to say on the matter.
That pesky rain cloud was now directly above us and it was pouring down.
We pulled into a passing place which conveniently is right next to the remains of the burial chamber.
I bravely (or stupidly) jumped out the car to look for a way through/over the neck high barbed wire fence. As I was contemplating easing my way through the fence it soon became apparent I would be drenched in about 5 minutes. Given that there is little to see of the remains (a couple of large stones piled together – which could easily be seen anyway from the road) I decided to settle for a road side view and jump back into the dry of the car.
On a dry day I may have attempted a closer look – but not today!
‘Drive by’ 13.10.12
I had a quick look at the 3 most southern Barrows whilst visiting the Hillfort.
The rain cloud I spotted earlier had caught up with us and it was like a monsoon outside the car. A view from the car was in order!
Luckily the Barrows are easy enough to see from the road near the crossroads.
There is another Barrow on its own a little to the south but I couldn’t see that one due to a hedge being in the way.
WOW – what a great Hillfort to visit this is!
Come off the A35 and take the minor road north through the village of Askerswell.
When you come to the crossroads take the turning to the right and follow the road north which takes you to the Hillfort. There is a parking area just to the SE of the Hillfort.
This is a N.T. site to access is not a problem with a permissive footpath running right through the site. There is an information board near the stile leading into the Hillfort.
I was surprised by how well this Hillfort is preserved. It reminded me very much of a mini Maiden Castle (which isn’t too far away).
The ditches/ramparts at the southern end are still very impressive – the ditch being about 3m deep and the bank rising to about 6m from the bottom of the ditch.
I walked anti-clockwise around the Hillfort and kept a look out for the two Barrows the information board said were in the middle of the site.
It was a lovely day for the time of year with blue skies and lots of white fluffy clouds. Windy as you would expect at a Hillfort. There was one mean looking black cloud heading straight for me and I could already see the rain falling from it – time to retreat back to the car!
The views are great and so is the Hillfort.
This Hillfort should be a ‘must see’ when in the area – visit if you can.
As recommended we parked at the Little Chef and Karen and the children enjoyed some refreshments while I headed through the gate and across the field to the trees where this stone circle lives. (5 minute walk)
It is a well maintained site with a fence surrounding the circle for protection and the grass kept short. Despite the very close proximity of the busy A35 it wasn’t long before the calming atmosphere of the place takes you over and you even stop noticing the cars screaming past.
As with most of the places I visited this weekend I had the site to myself which was nice. Particularly this site as it is a place to sit and ponder. The sky was blue with white fluffy clouds floating by; the October sunshine filtering through the leaves. Saplings have been planted along the roadside to shelter the circle even more and a sign has been put up asking people to access via the Little Chef and not by climbing over the fence.
The first thing to strike me was the stones themselves. I have never seen stones made up of so much flint – quite strange. The next thing was the large (dead?) tree which had had its branches cut off. There were masses of toad stools growing out of the base of the tree.
Looking at the stones one by one I discovered an egg ‘offering’ had been placed in a small crevice. The stones varied in height from about 0.3m to 2m.
This is a good place to visit.
I have visited both historic and prehistoric sites for a number of years but since 'discovering' this website my visits have spiralled out of control!
I am now out 'exploring' as often as possible and have been to many wonderful places I didn't even know existed before using this website.
Having visited all the CADW sites I am now trying to visit all the E.H. sites and as many H.S. sites as possible.
In trying to achieve these goals I get to travel all around the country and with it the chance to visit as many sites as possible mentioned on this fine website. I hope some of you find my contributions a little helpful?
I have certainly found the contributions made by others to be both very informative and often quite amusing!
I must also mention the lovely Karen whom without her help, encouragement and understanding I would not be able to visit half of the places I do.
I am forever grateful.