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| Grey Mare and her Colts |
[512 x 384 jpg]
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|Description ||Boxing Day 2004. Taken at noon over the wall/fence to the north of the barrow. One of several small concrete posts that surround the site is visible, presumably there to prevent any further ploughing of the monument. The arrangment of stones is like a smaller, more ramshackle, Waylands Smithy.|
|I've found that the technical term for this end of a megalithic barrow is a semicircular forecourt, but that just conjures up images of petrol station forecourts.|
|More correctly, the forecourt is defined as the flat area in front of the entrance to a chambered tomb. Often these have been found to have been used for various purposes including pits, depositions & fires. It is also quite common for these areas to be buried under a stone/soil "blocking", which effectively sealed off the entrances. The orthostats that define this area are known as a "facade", although occasionally dry stone walling is used insted of megaliths. Facades come in many forms, semi-circular, crescentic/concave, convex, 'V' or 'U' shaped or even flat/straight. There are often clear regional preferences. This particular tomb has a concave facade which is out of character for the region, where the predominate type are the Cotswold/Severn cairns a little to the north, which generally have funnelled convex facades. Unfortunately hardly any of the Dorset tombs still have facades which makes it very difficult to work out whether this site is anomalous or just a lone surviving example of a regional form. Aubrey Burl has speculated that this site might have affinities with the Clyde group of chambered cairns in SW Scotland, noting that the nearby Nine Stones stone circle, Winterbourne Abbas is also similar to some Scottish rings, such as Nine Stone Rigg, Roxburgh. |
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