Walk at Hamshill Ditches – 24th June 2017

On a sunny Saturday June 24th, a group of 12 intrepid enthusiasts braved badger holes and thick nettles to explore Iron Age earthworks and tracks in woodland on the Great Ridge, north of Barford St Martin. Roy Wilde prepared us with images of the Hamshill Ditches earthworks which had been clearly visible on open land when Colt Hoare and Cunnington visited in 1812, and from Crawford’s aircraft in 1928. Now, largely covered in trees, many can only be seen on lidar images or by  exploring them at close hand, as we enjoyed doing. We were also fascinated to visit Roy’s excavation of the neck of a banjo enclosure, one of the very few ever carried out, with it’s unexpected discovery of the remains of what appears to have been a pottery kiln. There are still opportunities for volunteers to help complete the ‘dig’.  The visit was a great opportunity to appreciate the size and complexity of this Durotrigian site.

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