Tumulus (destroyed): OS Grid Reference — ST 95459 17548
Archaeology & History
This long-lost burial mound was one in a large group of prehistoric tombs that were explored in the 19th century by the legendary antiquarian, General Pitt-Rivers. It had already been destroyed before the General came to live on his Rushmore estate in southern Wiltshire, but thankfully, his diligence as an inquirer prevailed and he was able to recover at least something of the old site. Shown on the 1889 OS-map of the area (despite already having been destroyed), in Pitt-River’s (1888) extensive writings he told how, in the scattered woodlands hereby, was
“a collection of large barrows near the South Lodge. They were covered with a thick grove of hazel and other underwood. One of the barrows—marked by a dotted circle (see sketch-map, left, PB)—had been destroyed before my arrival at Rushmore in 1880. The earth of the barrow had been removed and a good urn found in it, which had been broken and scattered, but I was fortunate enough to recover one of the fragments which had been preserved by the estate carpenter.”
From a sketch that was made of the urn remnant, Pitt-Rivers told how “the character of its ornamentation” resembled that on another urn found in one of the nearby tumuli.
- Pitt-Rivers, A.H.L.F., Excavations in Cranborne Chase, near Rushmore – volume 2, Harrison & Sons: London 1888.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian