Hengi-form monument in Fargo Plantation south of The Cursus

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1012402
Date first listed:
10-Jun-1952
Date of most recent amendment:
01-May-1995

Map

Ordnance survey map of Hengi-form monument in Fargo Plantation south of The Cursus
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District:
Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish:
Amesbury
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.

Details

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.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
10363
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

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

Legal

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

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