Hengi-form monument in Fargo Plantation south of The Cursus
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jul-2019 at 01:44:22.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SU 11250 42795
Reasons for Designation
A small number of areas in southern England appear to have acted as foci for
ceremonial and ritual activity during the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods.
Two of the best known and the earliest recognised areas are around Avebury and
Stonehenge, now jointly designated as a World Heritage Site.
The area of chalk downland which surrounds Stonehenge contains one of the
densest and most varied groups of Neolithic and Bronze Age field monuments in
Britain. Included within the area are Stonehenge itself, the Stonehenge
cursus, the Durrington Walls henge, and a variety of burial monuments, many
grouped into cemeteries.
The area has been the subject of archaeological research since the 18th
century when Stukeley recorded many of the monuments and partially excavated a
number of the burial mounds. More recently, the collection of artefacts from
the surfaces of ploughed fields has supplemented the evidence for ritual and
burial by revealing the intensity of contemporary settlement and land-use.
In view of the importance of the area, all ceremonial and sepulchral monuments
of this period which retain significant archaeological remains are identified
as nationally important.
Hengi-form monuments are ritual or ceremonial monuments which date to the Late Neolithic period (2800-2000 BC). They were constructed as roughly circular enclosures, usually comprising a flat area between 5m and 20m in diameter enclosed by a ditch and external bank. Either a single entrance or two opposed entrances, as in this example, provided access to the interior of the monument, which may have contained a variety of features including pits, post holes, cremation pits and burials. Hengi-form monuments occur throughout England with the exception of the south western and south eastern counties. They are generally situated on gravel terraces or on hill slopes. They are rare nationally with about 40-50 known examples. The hengi-form monument within Fargo Plantation south of the Cursus is known from partial excavation to contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.
The monument includes a hengi-form monument situated within Fargo Plantation
south of the Cursus. Prior to tree planting the area had views across a
shallow combe towards Stonehenge and Normanton Down. The hengi-form monument
is in the form of a ditched earthwork, roughly oval in shape, enclosing an
area 4m across. The ditch is c.1.5m wide and is interrupted by two causeways
aligned roughly north-south. The ditch surrounds a slightly sunken central
area, and examination of the ditch fills during partial excavation indicated
that there may have originally been an outer bank. The overall diameter as
originally constructed will have been c.15m. None of the earthworks are now
visible on the surface, probably as a result of the preparation of the area
for afforestation. Partial excavation in 1938 revealed a grave in the centre,
containing an inhumation with a beaker and three cremations. A fourth
cremation was found close to the inner edge of the ditch. Small pits or
post holes were found near the north and south corners of the grave.
MAP EXTRACT 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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 28
RCHME, , Stonehenge and its Environs, (1979), 7
Stone, J F S, 'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in An Early Bronze Age Grave in Fargo Plantation near Stonehenge, , Vol. 48, (1939), 357-70
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing