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

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Maen Cadoar (Standing Stone / Menhir)

T Dexter, in 'Civilisation in Britain 20000bc', published in 1931 put this stone forward as possible evidence that Britain was colonised by the ancient Egyptians! Purely on the basis of its pyramidal shape, and the fact that the head is round - thereby being a 'sun worship' stone.

Mabe Church (Standing Stone / Menhir)

From the EH Scheduled Monuments record:

The monument includes a prehistoric standing stone with a medieval cross incised on it, situated in the churchyard at Mabe in west Cornwall.

The stone, which is listed Grade II, is 1.85m high and 0.66m wide at the base tapering to 0.35m at the top. The principal faces are orientated north-south, and on the top of the north face is a small incised `Latin' cross, probably added at sometime during the medieval period. On the east face the granite has naturally weathered along linear cracks, which has given the misleading impression that there is a further inscription or incised ornament on this stone.

The standing stone is set in a low mound and is considered to be in its
original location.

Sturmer Barrow (Round Barrow(s))

Taken from the EH Scheduled Monument record:

A bowl barrow situated on a west facing slope overlooking the River Stour. The barrow is visible as an earthen mound which measures 48m in diameter and 2.5m high. Although no longer visible at ground level, a ditch, from which material was excavated during its construction, surrounds the mound. The ditch has become infilled but survives as a buried feature 2m wide.

This bowl barrow 500m north-west of Sturmer Hall is well preserved.

Swingate (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Taken from the Monument Class Description for 'Standing Stones', available on the EH site:

"Standing stones might be confused with cattle rubbing stones and still remain usually in the centre of fields, such as at Swingate, Cornwall, although it is possible that some cattle rubbing stones are actually reused standing stones."

From that, if you believe EH, it appears that this is in fact a rubbing stone rather than ancient menhir?

Popham Beacons (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

The EH Scheduled monument record (31151) describes Popham Beacons thus:

The monument includes a round barrow cemetery prominently situated just north of the A303 and just west of the Stockbridge road, on a broad south east facing chalk spur. It consists of a linear arrangement of four very substantial round barrows and a saucer barrow oriented along the spur over a distance of about 185m. A sixth barrow, possibly a disc barrow, situated 20m to the south east, has been levelled by ploughing and is not included in the scheduling. Two further round barrows situated approximately 150m and 260m to the west, just on the other side of the Stockbridge road, have also been removed by ploughing and are also not included in the scheduling.

The most northerly barrow is a slightly elliptical bowl barrow, standing about 1.6m high with a maximum diameter of 25m, surrounded by a partially infilled ditch up to 5m wide and 0.2m deep. The second barrow lies approximately 12m to the south. It is a bell barrow comprising a central mound surrounded by a 3m wide berm, mutilated by rabbit burrowing and ploughing, and a partially infilled ditch up to 6m wide and 0.25m deep. The mound and berm are roughly circular and stand up to 2.4m high with a maximum diameter of about 26m. These features partly overlie a probable saucer barrow comprising a low central mound, about 0.2m high and 26m across, surrounded by a ditch, 5m wide and 0.1m deep, and an outer bank, 10m-12m wide and about 0.15m high. The fourth barrow also partly overlies the saucer barrow. It is a probable bell barrow comprising a roughly circular central mound, approximately 2.4m high and up to 24m across, with traces of a mutilated berm on the east and north east sides. It is surrounded by a ditch, approximately 6m wide and 0.15m deep. The fifth barrow lies about 5m to the south. This is a possible bell barrow comprising a roughly circular central mound, up to 2.4m high and 30m across, with traces of a mutilated berm. It is surrounded by a partially infilled ditch, 0.15m-0.25m deep, that is 5m-7m wide to the north and south but widens to 10m-12m wide to the east and west.

The three most substantial barrows are slightly hollowed in the centre indicating possible past excavation. The two to the north have exposed flint rubble cores while that to the south has an exposed core of chalk rubble. All have been clipped by ploughing and are disturbed by burrowing.

The monument is located on the alignment of a likely Roman road which survives 200m to the south east as a lane running along the edge of Black Wood and to the north west as discontinuous sections of farm track and woodland boundary.

Popham Beacons has been suggested, in a 1943 publication, to be the location of a Roman lookout station associated with this road, and have been identified on maps dating from 1595 as the approximate location of a later Armada beacon from which the monument gains its name. No archaeological evidence of any of these features survives however in the field within which the barrows are located.

Bummers Hill (Round Barrow(s))

From the EH Record of Scheduled Monuments:

Bummers Hill bowl barrow is situated on the north end of a prominent ridge overlooking the River Quin. The monument includes an earthen mound which measures 24m in diameter and 2.82m in maximum height. Although no longer visible at ground 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 c.3m wide.

Great Wigborough Henge

From the EH record of Scheduled Monuments

The monument includes a levelled henge monument situated on the flood plain of the Salcott Creek 1km north-east of Virley church. Although no longer visible at ground level the monument survives as a circular ditch which can be clearly seen as a cropmark and on aerial photographs. The ditch is 46m in diameter with two opposed entrances, to the north-west and south-east, which measure approximately 10m in width.

Coneyfield Barrow (Round Barrow(s))

From the EH record of Scheduled Monuments:

The monument includes a bowl barrow situated in Conyfield Wood, on the
floodplain of the River Blackwater. The hemispherical earth mound measures
21m in diameter and c.1.7m in height. Also identifiable at ground level is a
3m wide ditch surrounding the mound from which material was quarried during
the construction of the monument. This has become partly infilled over the
years but survives to a depth of c.0.3m on all but the north side, where it
has been cut through by a modern drain which runs alongside a footpath.

Dry Hill (Hillfort)

Dry Hill gives commanding views out over the North Weald to Limpsfield, Tilburstow and the Godstone gap in the downs visible between.

Seven Barrows (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

A group of 7 Bronze Age barrows, lying either side of the busy A34. The site seems to be best known for the crop circle activity nearby.

Ladle Hill (Hillfort)

This roughly rectangular fort enclosed 7 acres (c.2.8ha) within an embankment and ditch. A 170 ft (52m) diameter disc barrow lies just to the N, and there are several other barrows in the area, mostly ploughed-out.

Maen-y-Bardd (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Also known as The Bard's Stone, Cwrt-y-Filiast, The Greyhound Kennel, Llech yr Ast or Cwrt-y-Bugail according to Barber and Williams' The Ancient Stones of Wales.

Trewardreva Fogou

Note re location from Stones Mailing List:

Go through the field gate opposite the fancy gateway to Trewardreva.
The fogou is in a low mound by the edge of the field more or less directly in front of you, but slightly to the right. The entrance is in the brambles at the nearest end, but it's quite accessible.

Lettergorman (North) (Stone Circle)

Listed in Burl's 'Prehistoric Stone Circles' as one of fifty sites to visit. A 'Four-poster'.

Carrigagulla (Stone Circle)

Listed in Burl's 'Prehistoric Stone Circles' as one of fifty sites to visit.
North London based, any trip to see sites of any real significance means a drive of at least an hour or two each way.

I'm usually accompanied on trips by my partner and soulmate Mikki, who is disabled and unable to walk far. I'm indebted to her for her patience and understanding.

Favourite place? Cornwall without a doubt. West Penwith in particular, Trencrom Hill as a prime example. The peninsular is so rich in sites and has an amazing atmosphere. Every trip there is like going home... Avebury currently comes a close second, but is starting to go the way of Stonehenge (see below) and Glastonbury for me - over-used and over-rated.

Most overrated? Stonehenge - I can't understand the excitement that this totally spoiled site induces in people. I first went there in the 1960's with school and have been back several times since. Each was an anti-climax.

My TMA Content: