Marden Henge

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Marden Henge
Marden Henge map.png
Map of Marden Henge
Marden Henge is located in Wiltshire
Marden Henge
Shown within Wiltshire
LocationMarden, Wiltshire
grid reference SU091582
Coordinates51°19′24″N 1°52′16″W / 51.3233°N 1.8712°W / 51.3233; -1.8712Coordinates: 51°19′24″N 1°52′16″W / 51.3233°N 1.8712°W / 51.3233; -1.8712
TypeHenge
History
PeriodsNeolithic

Marden Henge (also known as Hatfield Earthworks) is the largest Neolithic henge enclosure discovered to date in the United Kingdom.[1] The monument is northeast of the village of Marden, Wiltshire, within the Vale of Pewsey and between the World Heritage sites of Avebury and Stonehenge.[2]

Description[edit]

The enclosure is roughly oval in shape, and is enclosed by a typical bank and internal ditch arrangement constructed on the east, north and north-west sides and by the River Avon to the south and west.[3][4] Its greatest width is 530 m and it encompasses an area of 14 hectares (35 acres),[5] and is under the care of English Heritage. Antiquarian accounts of the site describe a huge mound within the enclosure called Hatfield Barrow, which collapsed after excavation by William Cunnington in the early 19th century. Today, Marden Henge has been damaged by ploughing, and no longer has any standing stones.

Around 1 kilometre to the south, archaeologists have detected the presence of another henge known as Wilsford Henge.[6]

Archaeology[edit]

The area was designated as a scheduled monument in 1953.[7] The site was excavated by Geoff Wainwright in 1969; he excavated the north entrance and found a timber circle, and Grooved ware pottery, similar to Durrington Walls. The finds are at Wiltshire Museum in Devizes, where there is also a small display.

In 2010, the henge and surrounding area were investigated through aerial, geophysical, and field survey.[8] During the dig, a Neolithic building was discovered, described as the best preserved Neolithic building in England.[9]

The site is included in a three-year investigation of the Pewsey Vale, beginning in 2015, by the Department of Archaeology at the University of Reading.[10][11]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Dyer, 2001. p. 191.
  2. ^ Leary & Field, 2010. p. 10.
  3. ^ Dyer, 2001. p. 191.
  4. ^ Castleden, 1992. p. 219.
  5. ^ Malone, Caroline (2001). Neolithic Britain and Ireland. The History press. p. 172. ISBN 9780752414423.
  6. ^ "Marden Environs Geophysical Survey". Historic England. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  7. ^ Historic England. "The Hatfield Earthwork (1014617)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Work starts on prehistoric Marden Henge in Wiltshire". BBC News. 28 June 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
  9. ^ "Marden Henge dig uncovers 4,500-year-old dwelling". BBC News. 19 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
  10. ^ "About the Vale of Pewsey project". University of Reading. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  11. ^ Smith, Roff (6 August 2015). "This Ancient British Monument Was 10 Times Bigger Than Stonehenge". National Geographic Society. Retrieved 7 August 2015.

Bibliography

External links[edit]