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

Miscellaneous Posts by phil

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Bowda Stone Circle

According to John Barnatt in his book
'Prehistoric Cornwall' 1982
IBSN 0-85500-129-1

"This site was first noted in 1921 by Crawford, from information by Breton, as a 'circle stone'.
It is likely to be either a group of natural boulders or the pound nearby."

I think the Crawford that Barnatt refers to is- Osbert Guy Stanhope Crawford 1886-1957

O.G.S. Crawford was a pioneering aerial photographer and British archaeologist.

His publication Wessex from the Air (1928) was his first collection of aerial photographs of archaeological sites

Not sure if this helps much.
Barnatt also gives a slighty differrent
grid ref of SX24757755

Giant's Hedge (Dyke)

Ther are many breaks in the monument but if you plan to try and trace the remains, it starts at SX141572 and ends roughly at SX247536

THE GIANT'S HEDGE
This Dark Ages earthwork ran at least from Looe to Lerryn, south of Lostwithiel, probably marking and defending the border of a Cornish Kingdom, often supposed to be that ruled by King Mark of the Tristram and lseult (Tristan and Isolda) story.

Dr Keith Ray, the County Archaeologist for Oxfordshire, who is making a special study of the Giant's Hedge, is convinced that it originally continued on the west side of the River Fowey and was defended there by Castle Dore.

Remains of other such forts are dotted elsewhere along the Hedge, such as Hall Rings and the one above Yearle's Wood, close to the site of St Nonna's Chapel . In some places it is still twelve feet high, and where it is best preserved (for example, in Willake Wood) it is stone-faced and flanked by a ditch.

"Even 180 years ago," writes Andrew foot in his history of St Veep, "it was sixteen feet high and ten feet broad so that fencibles in Quiller Couch's book, 'The Mayor of Troy Town', could march along its entire length.

What a tremendous labour it must have been to build, 1200 years or more ago, with nothing more than basic tools. " At the Looe end it is not well preserved, but is still recognisable in places, a bank following the contours fairly near the eastern or southern edge of the wood, although it would originally have been built out in the open, probably topped by a hedge (wall) or fence.

From Bob Acton's
Around Looe, Polperro & Liskeard by Landfall Publications

IBSN 1 873443 22 6

Old Warren (Hillfort)

Aerial photography & archaeological field work suggests that it was an iron Age hill-fort with a single rampart.

Read more at http://www.longbredy.freeserve.co.uk/index10.htm

Pin Knoll (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

To the west of Long Bredy is the Iron Age/Romano- British site of Pins Knoll which is a flat topped spur which juts out to the north of Litton Cheney.

An excavation of Pins Knoll found several burial sites of the 1st century ad which also contained grave goods including parts of sheep as well as the usual food vessels.


At the bottom of the spur is a spring where finds of pottery dating from the Iron Age/Roman Period

read more at....
http://www.longbredy.freeserve.co.uk/index10.htm

Dudsbury Camp (Hillfort)

Thedorsetpage.com

Dudsbury Camp, an ancient site overlooking the Stour, from which the Ancient Britons guarded the ford across the river.

Although Dudsbury was named after a Saxon called Dude, it was first fortified by men 150 years before the birth of Christ. Today it is still a camp, but for a more friendly people. Girl Guides fill its vast sward each summer with giggling girls singing around camp fires.

Branksome Library Stone (Standing Stones)

The stone was originally found at Constitution Hill about half a mile away. The stone lies under some mature trees in what was formally the grounds of the old library. A new housing development has sprung up around it.

The address is now "Clarkes Court" just off library Road.

East Hill (Hillfort)

Dartmoor National Park Authority

The rampart on East Hill stands 3 metres high in places and has a wide, flat-bottomed, ditch on the outside. East Hill is properly termed a promontory fort, rather than a hill fort, having been built at the end of the East Hill ridge to take advantage of the natural defences provided on two sides by the steep wooded slopes above the East Okement River and the Moor Brook.

East Hill Iron Age fort lies on moorland south east of Okehampton and can be approached from a number of directions using public rights of way.

Hill forts are characteristic of the middle and later Iron Age (500BC - AD 50) and are seen to be the fortified settlements of the Celtic people. At least 12 hill forts survive on Dartmoor. East Hill fort is at grid reference SX 604 941.

Records show that East Hill fort was examined by the Reverend H G Fothergill in 1840. One hundred years later John Brailsford undertook a very small-scale excavation on the central entrance which divides the rampart in two. He found that the end of the rampart was neatly faced with eleven courses of small slabs and there appeared to be a palisaded trench forming a passage into the entrance. No other finds were recorded. A nearby outcrop of rock is known locally as 'Roman Chair'. This name possibly arises from the 19th century discovery of a horde of 200 Roman coins in the East Hill Area.

Cassington Big Ring (Enclosure)

www.pastscape.org

A ring ditch at Cassington partially excavated in 1932. The site comprised two concentric circular ditches. The inner was penannular, with a narrow causeway (emphasised by an outer spur ditch) on the west. At the surface of the gravel it was 4 feet wide and up to 21 inches deep. Its outline was slightly iregular, suggesting construction in segments. It appears to have had a maximum diameter of circa 45 feet. The outer ditch was continuous and less substantial, measuring around 1 foot deep and a maximum of 3 feet wide. It was more irregular in appearance than the inner ditch. The excavator suggested that, on the basis of the asymmetric ditch fill, the inner ditch had originally been accompanied by an outer bank. The inner ditch offered insufficient evidence for the location of a bank, if there was one. Most of the topsoil had been removed prior to excavation, although in what remained were some Roman potsherds and some tile of Medieval or later date. Further probable Roman sherds were in the uppermost levels of the inner ditch. In "the deepest level" was a sherd which was described in the excavation report as being "not impossibly Bronze Age in date". A subsequent publication (Hamlin and Case 1963) refers however to "Struck flints and sherd possibly of Peterborough ware in primary silt. Peterborough ware and Roman-British pottery in secondary silt". While the possible presence of Peterborough Ware hints at a possible Neolithic date for the inner ditch at least, the sherds may of course represent debris from earlier activity. The published report offers insufficient information on the potsherds' context and condition.

Trevisker Round (Enclosure)

The following notes written some years ago come from pamphlet on the history of St. Eval Airfield by Mr Alan Bell.

"In 1955 and 1956 a Mr E. Greenfield carried out excavations on behalf of the Ministry of Works on the site currently occupied by Trevisker School and playground.

An excellent report headed "The Excavation of Bronze Age and Iron Age Settlements at Trevisker, St. Eval, Cornwall" was published by the Prehistoric Society in 1971.

This summary indicated that the site was first occupied in the Bronze Age by a small agricultural settlement, consisting of two circular timber houses; one house was eventually replaced by a stone structure. A single radio carbon determination suggests that the settlement was dated within the period 1700-1300 BC.

With the number of scattered barrows in the district it has been postulated that in the Bronze Age there would have been a population of 200-250 in 30 to 50 scattered homesteads, like Trevisker, on some 2,500 to 3,200 acres of cultivable land.

IRON AGE
The Iron Age settlement was established on the Trevisker site probably in the second century BC or earlier. An original inner enclosure, half an acre in area, housing a single defended farmstead, was later super-seded by a larger defended enclosure. This covered three acres and contained circular timber houses and occupation areas. This phase was followed at the end of the first century AD by a Romano-British period of occupation, which lasted until the middle of the second century.

Trevisker bound lay in an area densely occupied in the Iron Age - there were at least 16 known or presumed Iron Age sites within a seven miles radius. These included the cliff castles of Redcliff Castle and Park Head in the St Eval parish and the great contour hill fort of Castle-an-Dinas. Seventeen iron specimens excavated from Trevisker were analysed and these varied widely from high silica slags to samples with 50% to 60% iron. This provides proof that iron, albeit impure but typical of the period, was smelted nearby even though a furnace has not been discovered. However, it is likely that the iron ore was of local origin as Carnewas Point mine was worked in the late 19th century.

By this period the settlers were living in stone huts with slab lined drains, and it is likely that the cattle were enclosed at night or in inclement weather. Spindle whorls were found indicating that sheep were kept and their wool used for clothing. The existence of rotary grinding wheels and clay ovens suggest that cereals were cultivated."

Poldowrian (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

The museum officially opened to the public in 1980.
The Museum and Hut Circle are open to the public free of charge by kind permission of Mrs Hadley, throughout the year by appointment (contact 01326 280130/434) and every Wednesday in August, 10am-5pm.

Trevelgue Head (Cliff Fort)

Trevelgue Headland is a public open space owned and maintained by Restormel Borough Council. It is one of the most heavily defended headlands in Cornwall, but as a result of natural erosion and visitor pressure, it is probably also one of the most heavily eroded. Natural erosion at the narrow middle point of the promontory, where the majority of the defences are concentrated, has left part of the headland as an island, known as Porth Island.

The entire headland is protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and lies in designated Areas of Great Historic and Scientific Value. It contains an impressive promontory cliff-castle, dating to the Iron Age, and two Bronze Age barrows.

As a result of natural erosion and visitor pressure, the archaeological sites on Trevelgue Head have been heavily eroded. In 1999, English Heritage produced a management plan, which identified the various problems and suggested a programme of remedial works.

The cliff-castle or promontory fort is defined by a spectacular series of large earth and stone ramparts which cut off the headland and embrace the remains of an extensive Late Iron Age settlement and lies adjacent to a contemporary field system. It defended an east-west headland 700m long and protects, on its south side, the excellent natural harbour of St Columb Porth.

The Barrow
The heavily damaged Bronze Age barrow dates back to around 2,000BC.
Bronze Age barrows are burial mounds, often with a stone core covered over with earth. The barrows may contain cists (stone-lined box) which contain cremated bone or burials. Such sites traditionally date between 2000BC-1600BC.

The earliest documented archaeological explorations of Trevelgue Head took place at the beginning of the nineteenth century when the barrows on the headland were opened up by Canon Rogers in 1840. This was apparently followed by further antiquarian ventures reported in the local press in the 1870s. A more thorough examination of two barrows was undertaken by William Copeland Borlase also around this time and in 1872, a detailed account of his discoveries was presented in the book Naenia Cornubiae.

Other archaeological work
Interest in the significance of later prehistoric activity on the headland was ignited by the discovery of what was described in the 1890s as a small "prehistoric bronze foundry".

During a visit by H.O'Neill Hencken to the cliff castle in the early 1930s a surface scatter of "numerous pieces of Iron Age pottery...and quantities of flint chips" were collected. Erosion of midden deposits, containing metallic ores and slags, which appeared, in part, to form the make-up of the extensive defensive ramparts, threatened the stability of these impressive earthworks. Provisional arrangements for an archaeological excavation were made in 1934 but did not happen.
Finally, he Cornwall Excavations Committee (on behalf of the Royal Institution of Cornwall) invited C. K. Croft Andrew to carry out some limited archaeological excavations on the island during the summer of 1939. Evidence for occupation dating from the 3rd century BC to the post-Roman period (c.5th or 6th centuries AD) was uncovered. The outbreak of war in September 1939 halted work on the site.

Andrew's excavation took place entirely on the Island. Four trenches were excavated into the western two ramparts and two further trenches to the west where a round house was excavated.

Welcome to Restormel

Trevisker Round (Enclosure)

The following info on Trevisker pottery I found in the Proceedings of the West Cornwall Field Club.

(Don't bother looking up info on Trevisker pottery on the net, there is none)

The pottery from Trevisker round, St. Eval is from a site which it was possible to distinguish several stages of occupation.

This was the first Bronze Age site of this kind in the U.K. and it has given us very valuable information about the developement of Cornish Bronze Age pottery.

It has proved possible to distinguish four main classes or styles of pottery which were in use successively by occupants of the site. these syles have been numbered I to IV in order of age.

Style I
Generally thick, heavy and coursely gritted, but well fired. The pots were probably two feet tall, with out-turned internally bevelled rims and large ribboned handles or similar lugs of simpler form. Some pots had their bases stengthened on the inside with crossed raised ribs

Style Ia
Similar to style I, except that the pots have flat-topped clubbed rims, and there may be horizontal ribs on the side of the pot

Style II
This style is dark in colour, and less hard fired than style I. The pots are rather barrel shaped with rims either slightly bevelled or else flattened. The decoration is by fine plaited cord arranged in a zone on the outside of the pot imediately below the rim. Paired dimples placed the zone of decoration to represent ribbon handles are a feature of this class.

Style III
This style is generally reddish brown in colour. Cord decoration is replaced by incised decoration made by scoring the surface of the pot prior to firing, but patterns remain the same. Both small perforated lugs and finer dimple handles are found on these pots.

Style IV
This style is generally brown or dark grey, harder, grittier and better fired than the preceeding styles. These pots are barrel or flower pot shaped and the rims may be flat topped, everted, of have bevel on the inner side. The decoration includes incised, finger-nail and finger-tip techniques. The patterns are probably derived from those of I-III. Cruciform base-strenghtened ribs and perorated lugs also occur in this group. There is a considerable range of fabric and size within this style and both large , course storage jars and smaller, finer cooking pots are represented.

Choone (Holed Stone)

This little known stone is built in a hedge. It is possible that in the past that it has been moved. You can look through the hole and see the Merry Maidens stone circle.

Trevisker Round (Enclosure)

Reports on this site can be found in the following....

Cornish archaeology 17/1978/141
Proceedings of the West Cornwall Field Club 2/1957-8/2:41-3
Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 38/1972/302-381

Constantine Church stone (Christianised Site)

Some notes from a book called "Harlyn Bay and the discoveries of its Prehistoric remains" by R. Ashington Bullen 1912

The ruins of Constantine church stand near a kitchen midden. It was built in a hollow in the sand . Underneath the ruined tower is a large boulder of Cataclew stone (plate 20) weighing apparently nearly a quater of a ton. The nearest locality for this rock is Cataclew (fig 14) about a mile and a half distant in a straight line.
This stone seems to have been a sacred object around which the tower was built, perhaps 1600 hundred years or more ago. We have a similar instance at Maplescombe Church near Faringham, Kent in which is a large mass of tertiary conglomerate at the N.E. corner. And Prof T. Rupert Jones F.R.S., considers the so-called Chair of Bede at Jarrow Church to have been a sacred stone of an early date, but known to have been chiselled by modern masons into its present rectangular shape.

If the whole surrounding mound at Constantine Church is a continous kitchen midden, as it seems likely, consisting of successive accumulations, the great boulder marked the meeting point for whatever religious or ceremonial rites were practised. the Christian Missionaries who built Constantine Church made the spot the centre for the new religion, including the stone within their edifice in a position of honour.

Men-An-Tol (Holed Stone)

In answer to Hob's question about other holed stones in Cornwall.

Yes!

The Tolven stone near Gweek, 30 kilometeres to the east of Men An Tol.

http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/browse.php?site_id=704

Also there is a website of other holed stones in Britain....
http://www.lochstein.de/ho_gb.htm

Mean Toll

Situated in a farmyard sits this strange omega shaped stone 11 feet tall and partly worked by hand. It is mentioned by Cornish historian William Borlase and is said to be very similar to another stone on St. Mary's on the Isle of Scilly.

Hendraburnick Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

From the J.R.I.C.
Note on an unrecorded cromlech in North Cornwall
By Henry Dewey F.G.S. of H.M. Geological Survey

The Quoit/Cromlech lies about two and half miles s.e. of Boscastle and one and a half miles n.n.w. of Davidstow church. It is situated about half way between the farms of Treslay and Hendraburnick and stands in a field at the top of a hill which faces south. The top stone is large meusuring 16 feet by 8 feet and in places is 4 feet thick. A smaller stone not more than a quater this size supports at its western end, with some others nearly hidden by earth and shrubs beside it; while on the east the capstone rests on the ground, after the manner of the so called demi-dolmen at St. Breock Downs Beacon

Gannel Rock Markings (Natural Rock Feature)

Apparently these rock markings are best reached from the River Gannel by boat. There are not far from a place known as the Fern pit. This place is easy to find as there is a small ferry that operates from this point across to Crantock beach.

ps
The Gannel is tidal and a dangerous place to swim or wade, in order to walk right around the estuary you will need to avoid high tide.
Showing 1-20 of 106 miscellaneous posts. Most recent first | Next 20
Born in Cornwall 1966.

Main interests include Hillforts and barrows. I try to cover mainly Cornish sites but about five times a year get to visit Dorset where my wifes family live. Fairly keen on folklore and earth mysteries etc.

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