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

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A R Cane

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Alfriston Church (Christianised Site) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Alfriston Church</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Alfriston Church</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Alfriston Church</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Alfriston Church</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Alfriston Church</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Alfriston Church</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Alfriston Church</b>Posted by A R Cane

Alfriston Church (Christianised Site) — Fieldnotes

It’s difficult to wander around here and not think that it must have been an ancient site. There are give-away signs almost everywhere you cast your eyes. Firstly there’s the church built on an almost circular mound with its stout flint retaining wall and then you notice its proximity to the Cuckmere River built in a bend which could almost have formed an oxbow lake. Possibly more than 2000 years ago it was an island, this being a low lying and marshy area, giving more weight to the idea of it being a sacred place. Within the retaining wall on the Eastern side is a large stone, though I’m not sure if it’s a sarsen, as it looks more like a piece of sandstone. A few metres from that is another large stone, definitely a sarsen, laying next to the entrance of the Old Clergy House (the first ever NT property). Unfortunately I couldn't get a clear photo of this as it was almost hidden by Valerian on this occasion. Just a few more metres South is a group of three sarsens nestling under some trees looking slightly neglected and unloved. I looked around the foundations of the church to see if any stones had been built into that and was surprised to discover none, although this is often the case with christianised sites. There are, however, more stones built into walls and buildings around the village.

Ashurst Lodge (Enclosure) — Fieldnotes

Stumbled on this small charming enclosure while ambling around the New Forest. It's not very big, popular with local bovine herds, probably no more than about 20-25m in diameter and the banks no more than 1.5m high (mostly on the southern side). I imagine in the winter months it's probably very boggy around here and the northern and eastern sides are bounded by the beginnings of the Beaulieu River which acts as a natural defence. Pastscape describes the earthwork as a Bronze Age enclosure or early Iron Age univalate Fort. I'd go for the former as the earthworks don't seem like they were ever defensive and more about preserving a bit of dry ground in a very flat area. There are also a number of (presumably) Bronze Age barrows nearby which might support that.

Another interesting feature about a mile to the west is Row Hill which has 3, or possibly 4, long mounds on top of it. These are quite substantial, the biggest being about 2m high and about 15m long all running parallel. I've no idea how old they might be and would hesitate to call them long barrows. WW1 activity in the forest might be one explanation for their presence as there are currently notice boards all over the place warning you against straying from the path due to unrecovered ordnance. After a hundred years - I ask you?!

Ashurst Lodge (Enclosure) — Images

<b>Ashurst Lodge</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Ashurst Lodge</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Ashurst Lodge</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Ashurst Lodge</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Ashurst Lodge</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Ashurst Lodge</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Ashurst Lodge</b>Posted by A R Cane

Yellowmead Multiple Stone Circle — Images

<b>Yellowmead Multiple Stone Circle</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Yellowmead Multiple Stone Circle</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Yellowmead Multiple Stone Circle</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Yellowmead Multiple Stone Circle</b>Posted by A R Cane

Brisworthy Stone Circle — Images

<b>Brisworthy Stone Circle</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Brisworthy Stone Circle</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Brisworthy Stone Circle</b>Posted by A R Cane

The Greywethers (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>The Greywethers</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>The Greywethers</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>The Greywethers</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>The Greywethers</b>Posted by A R Cane

Sittaford Tor hut circles (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Images

<b>Sittaford Tor hut circles</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Sittaford Tor hut circles</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Sittaford Tor hut circles</b>Posted by A R Cane

Fernworthy (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Fernworthy</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Fernworthy</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Fernworthy</b>Posted by A R Cane

Fernworthy Stone Row (North) (Stone Row / Alignment) — Images

<b>Fernworthy Stone Row (North)</b>Posted by A R Cane

The Spinsters' Rock (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>The Spinsters' Rock</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>The Spinsters' Rock</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>The Spinsters' Rock</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>The Spinsters' Rock</b>Posted by A R Cane

Beacon Hill (Hillfort) — Images

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Beacon Hill (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

My memory takes me back to 1972 and I have just queued up with my family for what seems a lifetime on a drab day outside the British Museum. We have just managed to get into the room where the treasures of Tutankhamun are on show and I am finally in front of the famous death mask taking in the awesomeness of it all, when an over zealous mother elbows me out of the way and thrusts her own children forward, the brief vision now fading away in a milieu of struggling families. Goodness, it was like a rugby scrum in there!

Forty two years later I'm walking around the top of Beacon Hill towards the grave of Lord Carnarvon, sponsor of Howard Carter's 1922 excavation in the Valley of the Kings. It's a beautiful day and being a Monday there's hardly a soul about, just the ever present hum of the A34 a long way below me. The last time I came up here must have been before 1972 when my parents would bring us here for a Sunday afternoon runabout and tell us about the Tutankhamun stories. It's all pretty much as I remember it, the grave surrounded by railings, the view to Highclere Castle, the stout earthworks of the hill fort, the wild flowers and butterflies and the singing of skylarks above. In fact the only thing that has changed is the A34 which must have been a very quiet affair pre-1972. It's the A34 that got me back here as well, having travelled up and down it on numerous occasions, always strongly aware of the hill's presence, but it was always a case of 'in too much of a hurry, not the right weather or nobody else in the car wanting to do the mammoth climb to the top'. Well today is my day and all the conditions are spot on.

Shipley Bottom (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

I was actually trying to get to the Giant's Grave further down the road and turned off far too early. Another car pulled up shortly after me and a guy got out and put on walking boots which further confused me. After twenty minutes walking along the valley bottom I realised my mistake, but as it turned out there was something to see after all. Shipley Bottom (or Shapely Bottom as I like to refer to it) doesn't have a huge amount to offer archaeologically, but it does do 'serene', which is not surprising considering its proximity to the Ridgeway path less than half a mile to the west and Liddington Castle a mile to the north. There are two or possibly three barrows along the valley bottom, the western one being the more impressive and better preserved. The eastern one(s) are almost flattened or ploughed out, difficult to say as they just looked like a patch of weeds, but at least that shows that somebody made the decision to stop degrading them.

Shipley Bottom (Round Barrow(s)) — Images

<b>Shipley Bottom</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Shipley Bottom</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Shipley Bottom</b>Posted by A R Cane

Seven Barrows (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery) — Images

<b>Seven Barrows</b>Posted by A R Cane
Showing 1-50 of 914 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
I'm a professional photographer living in West Sussex and have been interested in ancient sites since childhood. I was brought up near Barbury Castle in Wiltshire so visits to hill forts, stone circles and various lumps and bumps were routine. The grip of these fantastic places still has a hold on me and I still get a feeling of total wellbeing whenever I come across a new place or revisit familiar places. Much of that is to do with the magnificent or interesting locations in which they're found and equally the mystery attached to them - we know so little and can imagine so much.

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