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Bulford Henges

A Scheduled Monument in Bulford, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.191 / 51°11'27"N

Longitude: -1.753 / 1°45'10"W

OS Eastings: 417359.521867

OS Northings: 143564.224512

OS Grid: SU173435

Mapcode National: GBR 4ZY.7N3

Mapcode Global: VHB5C.KBM9

Entry Name: Bulford Henges

Scheduled Date: 19 October 2017

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1449706

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Bulford

Built-Up Area: Bulford Camp

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Bulford St Leonard

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Summary

The buried remains of a pair of Late Neolithic penannular henges which are encircled by later Bronze Age ring ditches situated at approximately 97m above ordnance datum near the crest of a hill overlooking the Nine Mile River.

Source: Historic England

Details

PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS: the buried remains of a pair of Late Neolithic penannular henges which are encircled by later Bronze Age ring ditches situated at approximately 97m above ordnance datum near the crest of a hill overlooking the Nine Mile River.

DESCRIPTION: the henges survive as the buried remains of two penannular ditches with single causewayed entrances on their northern sides. They are encircled by later conjoining Bronze Age ring ditches.

The western henge has an diameter of approximately 17.5m and a causewayed entrance on its northern side approximately 4.6m wide. Partial excavation has shown that the ditch was constructed as a series of conjoined segments. Where excavated, the segments were approximately 4.2m wide and 1m deep on the western side of the henge, reaching a depth of approximately 1.2m on the east side. The segments were shown to have had sloping sides with flat bases, with their outer edges cut away by the later Bronze Age ring ditch which encircles the earlier ditches. To the west, fragments of a Grooved Ware bowl of the Durrington Walls type were found at the base of the ditch.

The interior of the western henge contained three pits which were located around the inner edge of the ditch. These pits were found to contain Late Neolithic Woodlands-type pottery with animal bone, flint tools and a fragment of a stone axe.

The outer Bronze Age ring ditch which surrounds the western henge was found to be approximately 1.5m wide and 0.9m deep at the excavated points, with a flat base approximately 0.5m across, and steeply sloping sides. Evidence from ditch sediments suggests that the outer ditch may have been constructed with an external bank. The outer ditch contained no finds.

The ditch of the eastern henge has an internal diameter of approximately 16m and a causewayed entrance on its northern side approximately 4.6m wide. This ditch was also shown during excavation to have been constructed as a series of conjoined segments. Finds included further Grooved Ware pottery. The interior of the eastern henge was not found to contain any features, aside from modern agricultural traces and tree throws.

The outer Bronze Age ring ditch which surrounds the eastern henge was found to be approximately 2m wide on its western side and approximately 1.5m deep. The ditch had steep sides and a narrow base approximately 0.5m wide. On the eastern side, the outer ditch was found to be approximately 1.5m wide and 1.3m deep.

A further ditch, which crosses the site and curves around a section of the western monument before extending to the east, was approximately 0.6m wide and 0.24m deep. This is thought to relate to a possible Romano-British field system, and suggests that the western henge remained at least partially visible at the time of the construction of this later ditch.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The Bulford Henges are scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Rarity: henges are one of relatively few types of monument which characterise the later Neolithic period, and this example is one of few sites known nationally with a pair of henges side by side, both encircled by later Bronze Age ring ditches;
* Potential: despite agricultural use of the site and partial excavation, the henges are considered to retain important archaeological information relating to prehistoric ritual and funerary activities and the landscape in which they were constructed;
* Documentation: they have been well documented through aerial photography, geophysical survey and excavation, which enhances our knowledge of these monuments;
* Group value: the site has strong group value with the group of scheduled round barrows south of Bulford, and with the wider Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site landscape.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Wessex Archaeology, Archaeological Evaluation and Watching Brief Report, March 2015
Wessex Archaeology, Characterisation Report: Bulford Henges, December 2016
Wessex Archaeology, Detailed Gradiometer Report, August 2014

Source: Historic England

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