Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Henge 500m north west of Bush Wood

A Scheduled Monument in Clothall, Hertfordshire

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Latitude: 51.9718 / 51°58'18"N

Longitude: -0.1728 / 0°10'21"W

OS Eastings: 525613.623086

OS Northings: 231943.399111

OS Grid: TL256319

Mapcode National: GBR J74.C44

Mapcode Global: VHGNM.YPJT

Entry Name: Henge 500m north west of Bush Wood

Scheduled Date: 17 January 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012095

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20764

County: Hertfordshire

Civil Parish: Clothall

Traditional County: Hertfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire

Church of England Parish: Weston

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


The monument includes a henge monument which is situated on the top of a north
east facing ridge, 2.25km north west of Weston parish church. The monument is
visible as a raised platform about 1m in height, circular in shape with a
diameter of about 65m. A surrounding ditch is also visible as an earthwork and
measures between 7m and 10m in width and a maximum of 0.5m in depth. Although
no longer visible at ground level, two opposing entrances across the
surrounding ditch can be seen clearly as cropmarks on aerial photographs and
will survive as buried features. The eastern entrance measures 15m across,
the western entrance measures 20m across. The monument is classed as a type 2
henge because it has two opposing entrances. The site is associated with a
local legendary giant called Jack O' Legs who was supposed to have lived in a
cave nearby.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Henges are ritual or ceremonial centres which date to the Late Neolithic
period (2800-2000 BC). They were constructed as roughly circular or oval-
shaped enclosures comprising a flat area over 20m in diameter enclosed by a
ditch and external bank. One, two or four entrances provided access to the
interior of the monument, which may have contained a variety of features
including timber or stone circles, post or stone alignments, pits, burials or
central mounds. Finds from the ditches and interiors of henges provide
important evidence for the chronological development of the sites, the types
of activity that occurred within them and the nature of the environment in
which they were constructed. Henges occur throughout England with the
exception of south-eastern counties and the Welsh Marches. They are generally
situated on low ground, often close to springs and water-courses. Henges are
rare nationally with about 80 known examples. As one of the few types of
identified Neolithic structures and in view of their comparative rarity, all
henges are considered to be of national importance.

Despite some reduction by cultivation the henge 500m north west of Bush Wood
is still visible as an earthwork and such a high quality of survival is rare
for sites of this date in southern England. Both as an earthwork and as a
group of buried features below the ploughsoil, the site will provide
archaeological information relating to the construction and use of the
monument and environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which it was
built. It is considered particularly unusual because of its large size.

Source: Historic England


AP 147 ABU 95, CUCAP, Aerial Photograph,
PRN 2583, Information from SMR,

Source: Historic England

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