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Portheras Barrow: A Prehistoric Monument in Cornwall

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Portheras Barrow is a Neolithic burial mound located in Cornwall, England. It is one of the largest and best-preserved barrows in the county, and it is thought to date back to around 3000 BC. The barrow is made up of a mound of earth and stone, and it originally had a stone chamber at its center. The chamber has since been destroyed, but some of its stones can still be seen. Portheras Barrow was first excavated in 1891, by the antiquarian William C. Lukis. Lukis found a number of artifacts in the barrow, including pottery, flint tools, and human bones. He also found the remains of the stone chamber. Portheras Barrow is located on Portheras Common, near the village of St. Just. The common is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and it is home to a variety of wildlife, including rare plants and animals. Portheras Barrow is a significant archaeological site, as it provides us with valuable insights into the lives of the Neolithic people who built it. The barr

Chapel Carn Brea: A Cornish Hilltop with a Rich Archaeological History

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Chapel Carn Brea is a hill in Cornwall, England, with a rich archaeological history. The hill is home to a number of prehistoric monuments, including a Bronze Age barrow, a medieval chapel, and a World War II observation post. The Bronze Age barrow is the most prominent archaeological feature on Chapel Carn Brea. It is a large mound of earth and stone that was built over 4,000 years ago. The barrow was likely used as a burial place for important members of the community. In the 13th century, a medieval chapel was built on top of the Bronze Age barrow. The chapel was dedicated to St Michael of Brea, and it was tended by a succession of hermits. The chapel fell into disrepair in the 18th century and was eventually demolished in 1816. During World War II, Chapel Carn Brea was used as an observation post. A shelter was dug into the east side of the hill, and a lookout tower was built on the summit. The observation post was used to monitor for enemy aircraft and ships. Today, Chapel Carn Br

Ancient Sites in Gloucestershire

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Gloucestershire is a historic county in England, that comprises part of the Cotswolds Hills, part of the valley of the River Severn and the Forest of Dean. The county contains many ancient sites and here we list 5 places that are worth a visit. BELLAS KNAP LONG BARROW Belas Knap Long Barrow is a Neolithic chambered tomb, trapezoidal in plan and it consists of a false entrance and four burial chambers. It's believed that it was constructed around 3000 BC by the Neolithic people as a place to bury their dead. The barrow was excavated twice revealing the remains of human skeletons together with animal bones and fragments of pottery. The excavators also reported finding a circle of flat stones beneath the centre of the mound. Unfortunately, these stones were later removed. MINCHINHAMPTON LONGSTONE The Longstone of Minchinhampton also known as the Holey Stone is a single standing stone with natural holes in it. It's believed that the monolith is about 4,000 years old. Local legend s

Lesser Known Ancient Sites in Wiltshire

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Wiltshire is home to some of the most impressive ancient sites in England. Some of them are well known and attract thousands of visitors every year. But there are also some lesser known sites that are worth a closer look. LANHILL LONG BARROW Lanhill Long Barrow also known as Hubba's Low, is a Neolithic chambered long barrow constructed about 5,000 years ago. Evidence suggests that the barrow had three burial chambers, but only one survives. Unfortunately much of the barrow was destroyed by farmers over the last centuries. It was once included among the most important antiquities in Wiltshire. The barrow was partially excavated in 1909. Several human skeletons were found in the chambers. COATE STONE CIRCLE Coate Stone Circle is a partly visible stone circle containing five recumbent sarsen stones. Based on his observations in the 1890s, the antiquarian A. D. Passmore suggested that the circle would have once contained over thirty stones. He recorded nine stones surviving as part of

Top Ancient Sites in Wiltshire

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If you are on the lookout for places to bother stones, Wiltshire is certainly one of the best destinations in Great Britain. Wiltshire is a historic county in England known for the stunning prehistoric landscape and the ancient sites. It's a place to wander around and explore England's past. STONEHENGE Stonehenge is an obvious choice for this list. This impressive monument is part of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England. Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument consisting of a ring of massive standing stones and horizontal stone lintels capping the outer circle. Two different types of stone (bluestones and sarsens) were used to build it. Archaeologists believe it was constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. AVEBURY HENGE AND STONE CIRCLES Avebury is a Neolithic henge monument containing three stone circles. It's believed that the complex was constructed between 2850 BC and 2200 BC. The henge survives as a huge circular bank and ditch. Within the h

Top Ancient Sites in Oxfordshire

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Oxfordshire is a landlocked county in the region of Southeast England. The county is mostly known for being home to the city of Oxford and its prestigious university. But the county is also home to extensive prehistoric landscapes and ancient sites. Here is a list of the top ancient sites in this amazing county. ROLLRIGHT STONES The Rollright Stones consist of a complex of three Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments. The monuments are known as the King's Men, the Whispering Knights and the King Stone. The three monuments were built at different periods in late prehistory from local oolitic limestone and had distinct purposes. The Whispering Knights was the first of the monuments to be constructed in the area. The monument consist of the remains of a Neolithic portal dolmen used as a place of burial. Evidence suggests that the Whispering Knights is one of the earliest funerary monuments in Britain. It was constructed around 3,500 BC. The King's Men Stone Circle is a circle of about

Top Ancient Sites in Somerset

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Somerset is a rural county in South West England, offering a wide range of prehistoric landscapes in addition to impressive ancient sites. The county has a long history of settlement and is known to have been settled from Palaeolithic times. It's steeped in history and folklore, making it the perfect place to explore England's past. Here is a list of the top ancient sites in this amazing county. GLASTONBURY TOR Glastonbury Tor is certainly one of the most iconic ancient sites in England. It's a hill with a 14th century tower on its top which is all that remains of St. Michael's Church. Glastonbury Tor is a conical hill that rises 158m above the Avalon Marshes. Its peculiar shape is due to a combination of the unusual geology and the distinctive terraces surrounding the hill. The top of the hill is formed from a succession of rocks assigned to the Bridport Sand Formation. These rocks sit upon clay and limestones deposited during the early Jurassic Period. Read more about

Is Adam's Grave the grave of a giant?

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Adam's Grave is the remains of a Neolithic chambered long barrow in the county of Wiltshire. In the Anglo-Saxon period it was known as Woden's Barrow. The barrow survives as an earthwork and is trapezoidal in plan. It consisted of a chamber made of large sarsen stones covered by an earth mound. The arrangement of stones around the barrow suggests there was once a kerb. These stones are known as "Old Adam" and "Little Eve" and are located near the original entrance to the barrow. The barrow was partially excavated in 1860, revealing partial human skeletons and an arrowhead. Legend has it that the barrow is the grave of a giant whose ghost has been reported. Adam's Grave is located on Walker's Hill near the village of Alton Barnes in England. © All rights reserved

Wayland's Smithy: A Hidden Gem of Neolithic England

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Nestled amidst the rolling hills of Oxfordshire, England, lies Wayland's Smithy, an enigmatic relic of the Neolithic era. This ancient burial mound, dating back to around 3600 BC, is not only a captivating historical site but also a source of enduring folklore and mythology. Wayland's Smithy is an impressive sight, even after millennia of weathering. The long barrow, approximately 90 feet long and 20 feet wide, is constructed from earth and sarsen stones, a type of sandstone found in the area. Within the mound lies a central chamber, once used for the interment of the dead. Archaeological excavations have unearthed a wealth of artefacts from the site, including pottery, tools, and human remains. These findings provide valuable insights into the lives of the people who built Wayland's Smithy and the rituals they practiced. The name Wayland's Smithy has been linked to the Germanic smith-god Wayland or Weland. This legendary figure, also known as Volund in Norse mythology,

Lanhill Long Barrow: A Window into Neolithic Britain

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Lanhill Long Barrow also known as Hubba's Low, is a Neolithic long barrow located in Wiltshire, England. It is one of the best-preserved long barrows in the Cotswolds-Severn Group, and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The barrow is oriented east-west and measures 56 meters long and 4 meters high. It has a roughly oval shape, with a rounded end at the east and a slightly pointed end at the west. The barrow is made up of earth and rubble, and is surrounded by a ditch. The barrow was excavated in 1909, and three burial chambers were discovered. However, only the southernmost burial chamber survives today. The chamber is rectangular in shape and measures 2.5 meters long, 1.5 meters wide, and 1 meter high. It is made up of large sarsen stones, and the roof is now supported by steel bars. The burial chamber contained the remains of at least 12 people, as well as a variety of grave goods, including pottery, flint tools, and jewelry. The grave goods suggest that the barrow was used for com

West Kennet Long Barrow

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Nestled in the heart of Wiltshire, England, lies West Kennet Long Barrow, a Neolithic tomb that has been standing for over 5,600 years. This magnificent monument is one of the largest and most impressive chambered tombs in Britain, and it offers visitors a unique glimpse into the lives and beliefs of our prehistoric ancestors. The barrow is a large mound of earth and chalk, measuring over 100 meters in length and 20 meters wide at the entrance. It is capped with a series of sarsen stones, which are massive sandstone boulders that were brought to the site from miles away. The entrance to the barrow is flanked by two particularly large sarsen stones, which create an imposing fa├žade. Inside the barrow are five chambers, each of which is connected by a narrow passageway. The chambers are dark and atmospheric, and they contain the remains of nearly 50 people. Archaeologists believe that the barrow was used as a communal burial place for many generations. In addition to the human remains, ar