Monday, 20 June 2011

But what is it?

A long grassy bank with a knotch at one end. No burial(s) and no stone chambers. Our little group of heritage hunters climbed the steep slope from Long Bredy on a breezy and showery Sunday to ponder this strange monument called by archaeologists variously a Bank Barrow, Barrow-Bank, Ridge Barrow or Ridge Mound situated on Martin's Down ridge. Identified by O.G.S. Crawford in the 1930s it is a long, parallel-sided mound, uniform in height and width and flanked by ditches, currently 0.7m deep. Almost impossible to date accurately this type of monument is generally stated as Middle Neolithic, or around 5,000 years ago. Only a handful exist in the UK and Dorset has most of them. This one, Maiden Castle, Broadmayne and one possible example at Pentridge. This Bank Barrow is surrounded by later Bronze Age Round Barrows. Please leave comments as to what you think they are for. I think that they are representations of a mother goddess in the landscape.

My next walk is a visit to the Grey Mare & Her Colts + Kingston Russell stone circle, above Abbotsbury, on the 3rd of July. Meet at 10.30am north east of Abbotsbury village [SY 588 867] at a lay-by in front of a gate with hardstanding. Find the monument on the map and follow the marked path back to the road and that is it.   

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