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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 215182

Hob Uid: 215182
Location :
Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Marden
Grid Ref : SU0901058030
Summary : A Neolithic henge (Goddard's Beechingstoke 1a), is located within the southern end of the Hatfield enclosure (Marden Henge NMR UID 215179), just north of the River Avon. Excavation by English Heritage in 2010 confirmed the Neolithic date. These excavations revealed a well-preserved Neolithic chalk surface, or floor, within the henge bank. The central part was sunk into the ground, and had a large hearth surrounded by a gully. Outside the chalk surface, and further along the henge bank, there were middens, perhaps the remains of feasting debris. Finds included bone needles, awls and flint tools. The monument survives as a relatively well preserved and substantial earthwork, contrary to previous assertions. In 1807 Cunnington described it as a circular enclosure 198 feet in diameter. "Its vallum is slightly raised, and the interior rises gradually to a low apex. On digging within the area we found a few bits of old pottery, and a little charred wood but no marks of any interment". Aerial photographs taken in 1946 illustrate the site before the western parts of the monument were clipped by the plots of the row of houses known as "Hatfields". It is recorded as a substantial earthwork on subsequent aerial photographs and 2005 lidar images. The bank may have been slightly spread by ploughing (the field was certainly in arable cultivation in the 1940s) but the overall diameter of the monument, from the aerial photo evidence, appears to be between 90m and 95m. The site was listed by both Goddard and Grinsell as Beechingstoke 1a.
More information : SU 09025803 Tumulus (NR) (Site of) (NAT). (1)

Saucer barrow; diameter 78ft; ditch 40ft wide by 1 ft deep; outer bank 76ft wide by 1ft high(from source 2). (2-3)

A badly damaged circular earthwork, diameter 198ft. It comprised a slightly raised bank rising gradually to an apex, see illustration.

Digging within the barrow produced a little pottery (unspecified) and charred wood but no burial.

By 1818 it had been completely effaced. (4)

Site of barrow plotted from geophysical survey, see illustration. (5)

There are no visible remains of this barrow. (6)

Originally recorded as Beechingstoke 1a by Goddard. (7)

Additional Reference. (8)

The unusual prehistoric monument described above is located within the southern end of the Hatfield enclosure (Marden Henge NMR UID 215179), just north of the River Avon. The monument is defined by a circular bank with a wide internal ditch, or scoop, and within this sunken area there is a central platform. It does not appear to conform to any of the know types of prehistoric monument, such as a saucer barrow which has been suggested as a possible interpretation. The monument survives as a relatively well preserved and substantial earthwork, contrary to previous assertions.

In 1807 Cunnington described it as a circular enclosure 198 feet in diameter. "Its vallum is slightly raised, and the interior rises gradually to a low apex. On digging within the area we found a few bits of old pottery, and a little charred wood but no marks of any interment". (see sources 3 and 7).

Aerial photographs taken in 1946 illustrate the site before the western parts of the monument were clipped by the plots of the row of houses known as "Hatfields". It is recorded as a substantial earthwork on subsequent aerial photographs and lidar images. The bank seems to have been spread by ploughing (the field was certainly in arable cultivation in the 1940s) so the original diameter may have been less. From the aerial photo evidence, it appears to measure between 90m and 95m across. The bank measures c27m across and the central platform is c25m in diameter.
(9-12)

Excavation by English Heritage in 2010 confirmed that the monument is a Neolithic henge. The excavations revealed a well-preserved Neolithic chalk surface, or floor, within the henge bank. The central part of this surface was sunk into the ground, and had a large hearth surrounded by a gully. Outside the chalk surface, and further along the henge bank, there were middens, perhaps the remains of feasting debris. Finds included bone needles, awls and flint tools.
(13)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1961
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 2
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : N Thomas 1956.
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 11
Source : Light detection and ranging (lidar) airborne survey
Source details : LIDAR SU0858 Environment Agency D0048685 3-4-NOV-2005
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Figs. :
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Source Number : 12
Source : Light detection and ranging (lidar) airborne survey
Source details : LIDAR SU0856 Environment Agency D0048684 3-4-NOV-2005
Page(s) :
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Plates :
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Source Number : 13
Source : Research News
Source details : Recent work at Marden Henge, Wiltshire by Jim Leary and David Field
Page(s) : Oct-13
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 15 (AUTUMN 2010)
Source Number : 3
Source : A history of Wiltshire: volume 1, part 1
Source details : Grinsell, LV. Archaeological gazetteer
Page(s) : 223
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : The ancient history of Wiltshire
Source details :
Page(s) : 7
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2
Source Number : 5
Source : Current archaeology
Source details :
Page(s) : 154
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 17, 1969
Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ASP 27-MAY-77
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 7
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details :
Page(s) : 189
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 38, 1913-14
Source Number : 8
Source : The Antiquaries journal : journal of the Society of Antiquaries of London
Source details : Wainwright, GJ. The Excavation of a Late Neolithic Enclosure at Marden, Wiltshire.
Page(s) : 177-239
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 51, 1971
Source Number : 9
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF CPE/UK/1821 2157-2158 04-NOV-1946
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Source Number : 10
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/76183 42-43 21-AUG-1976
Page(s) :
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Bronze Age
Display Date : Bronze Age
Monument End Date : -700
Monument Start Date : -2600
Monument Type : Enclosure
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Uncertain
Display Date :
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Findspot
Evidence : Find

Components and Objects:
Period : Bronze Age
Component Monument Type : Enclosure
Object Type : VESSEL
Object Material : Pottery
Period : Uncertain
Component Monument Type : Findspot
Object Type : VESSEL
Object Material : Pottery

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Wiltshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 601
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : WI 338
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 05 NE 4
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 215179
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 215182
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 215182
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1002033
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : MARDEN EARTHWORK
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1807-01-01
End Date : 1807-12-31
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 05 NE 4
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1977-05-27
End Date : 1977-05-27
Associated Activities : ENGLISH HERITAGE: MARDEN ENVIRONS VALE OF PEWSEY NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2008-06-01
End Date : 2009-10-01