Books, Prehistory, Long Barrows of the Cotswolds, Foreword

Foreword is in Long Barrows of the Cotswolds.

FOREWORD


This book is an attempt to collect together between two covers all the relevant facts known and recorded about certain Long Barrows and Stone Circles. It is limited in space, in time and in intention. It deals only with those parts of England and Wales which are included within the area of Sheet 8 of the 1-inch Ordnance Survey Map; and within this area it is principally concerned with the Cotswolds and the fringe of the Black Mountains in Brecknockshire, where the majority of the Long Barrows are respectively concentrated. (A few sites outside the area of Sheet 8, but belonging geographically to the Cotswolds, are included in an Appendix).

No attempt is made to describe the remains of any period other than that (or those, as it may be) to which the Long Barrows and Stone Circles belong. The Stone Circles are few; none of them have been excavated, so that it is not known whether in this region they are contemporary with or later than the Long Barrows. Consequently, the book may be said to be almost confined to the Neolithic Period, to which, in the absence of contradictory evidence, the English Long Barrows have long been assigned.

Lastly, the book is essentially a compilation of scattered, inaccessible records, brought together for the benefit of future students. That is why, in the final section ("Mounds, Standing Stones, etc."), amongst many probably genuine objects, a number of "dummies" are described. No one need now be led out of his way by these; but it needed a visit of inspection to determine their true character. The author cannot, of course, vouch for the accuracy of some of the older plans and descriptions, but such as they are (and many are meagre and vague), they are often the only record of things now gone for ever. Many of the plans here reproduced may be inaccurate or incomplete; but without fresh excavations there is no means of correcting them, for the original excavations have fallen in, sometimes destroying, and always obscuring, the stonework; so that the original intention of the excavators, in leaving them open, has been defeated. Further, the excavators (who, it must be

Lastly, the book is essentially a compilation of scattered, inaccessible records, brought together for the benefit of future students. That is why, in the final section ("Mounds, Standing Stones, etc."), amongst many probably genuine objects, a number of "dummies" are described. No one need now be led out of his way by these; but it needed a visit of inspection to determine their true character. The author cannot, of course, vouch for the accuracy of some of the older plans and descriptions, but such as they are (and many are meagre and vague), they are often the only record of things now gone for ever. Many of the plans here reproduced may be inaccurate or incomplete; but without fresh excavations there is no means of correcting them, for the original excavations have fallen in, sometimes destroying, and always obscuring, the stonework; so that the original intention of the excavators, in leaving them open, has been defeated. Further, the excavators (who, it must be remembered, were pioneers) seldom understood what they were doing and often misinterpreted what they uncovered. What other result could there be when constant personal supervision of the workmen was considered unnecessary? The naive accounts of the "opening" of the Sown Hill and Willersey barrows are interesting for this reason.

On the other hand, the author has recorded here for the first time some of the results of his own field-work. He has visited every site recorded in the first section of the book and in the appendix, and many of the others. In the course of his field-work he has discovered many new Long Barrows. Witts records 37 such in Gloucestershire (excluding three which have proved to be disqualified), whereas in this book 53 are described.

There are only two absolutely perfect Long Barrows in Gloucestershire - Lodge Park and Cold Aston. It seems desirable therefore that these two should be kept intact, even from archeologists; and that if at any time excavations should be undertaken by a suitably qualified person or society, some one of the fifty others should be selected. There are several such, practically intact, whose methodical and complete excavation should yield valuable results. The value, however, will consist much more in the resulting plan than in the discovery of objects in the burial-chambers. It is quite useless to scratch a hole in a barrow, and perhaps clear out a single chamber; at the present day knowledge will only be advanced by a complete and thorough excavation of the whole mound. Any thing short of this is worse than useless. General Pitt-Rivers has shown how a Long Barrow should be excavated in the account of his excavation of Wor Barrow, Dorset (Excavations in Cranborne Chase, Vol. iv). That, however, was an earthen Long Barrow; and no one has ever excavated a stone Long Barrow with scientific thoroughness. It would be well worth doing.

The author wishes to record his hearty thanks to all those who have in any way contributed towards the book, and to apologise in advance for any inadvertent omissions to record such acknowledgments. How much he is indebted to his friends will be seen by every reader. At the same time he does not wish to implicate them in any of his theories or classifications, for which, of course, he alone is responsible. Specific acknowledgments are made in the text, or, in the case of the illustrations, in the preliminary list.

He is deeply grateful to Mr. A. D. Passmore, of Swindon, for the trouble he has taken in obtaining with his own camera many of the best illustrations in the book. Those specially taken by Mr. Passmore are: The Hoar Stone, Duntisbourne Abbots (frontispiece); Wayland's Smithy [Map] (views opp. pp. 49 and 51); Colnpen (opp. p. 89); Notgrove (opp. p. 1 16); Nympsfield (two views, opp. p. 119); Windmill Tump, Rodmarton (opp. p. 142); one of the Devil's Quoits, Stanton Harcourt (opp. p. 212); the Hawkstone (opp. p. 113); and Lugbury [Map] (opp. p. 230).

He wishes to thank the Council of the Society of Antiquaries for permission to reproduce (from electros) the following:- The portal, Belas Knap (p. 69); the portal, Uley (opp. p. 102); plan, Uley (p. 105); pot, Pole's Wood South, Upper Swell (p. 128); entrance to chamber, Windmill Tump, Rodmarton (p. 144); arrowheads, from the same (p. 144); and for the loan of the original plan (by the Rev. Charles Overy) from which that published here on p. 47 has been made. Most of the above illustrations accompanied Thurnam's classic article on Long Barrows in Archceologia, Vol. XLii.

He wishes also to thank the Wiltshire Archeological & Natural History Society, and Captain and Mrs. Cunnington for permission to reproduce the plan (p. 228), and two views (opp. p. 228) of Lanhill Barrow, excavated by them in 1909; Sir Arthur Evans for permission to reproduce, on pages 31 to 43, a long extract from his valuable paper on The Folklore of Rollright, first published in Folklore, Vol. vi.; Mr. A. E. W. Paine, of Cheltenham, for the photograph of the Bisley Skull (opp. p. 80), and for permission to have drawings made of the objects from Sown Hill, now in his collection; Mr. D. W. Herdman, Curator, and the authorities of the Town Museum, Cheltenham, for facilities in reproducing seven hitherto unpublished photographs exhibited in that Museum; Mr. C. E. Vulliamy, of Glasbury, for his plan of Pen-y-wyrlod (p. 61), Mr. Evan Morgan, of Brecon, for the photographs of Ty Illtyd (opp. p. 64), the plan of Ty Isaf (p. 66), and for much valuable assistance in dealing with the monuments of Brecknockshire; Mrs. Hookham, for the photograph (specially taken) of the portal at Lodge Park (opp. p. 1 12); Mr. Roland Austin, Librarian, Gloucester, for facilities in reproducing (from the originals in the Public Library there) the plans of Eyford (p. 94), Pole's Wood, East and South (pp. 124-6) and of the round barrows on Cow Common (p. 91) and for his care in compiling the index; Mr. R. A. Smith, F.S.A., of the British Museum, for permission to reproduce the drawing on p. 128, from his article in Archceologia, LXii.; Mr. Kendrick, also of the British Museum, for allowing to be published for the first time a drawing, on p, 96, of the Eyford pot; Colonel de Guerin and Major Carey, of Guernsey, for facilities in having reproduced (from the originals there) the many plans by the Rev. W. C. Lukis and Sir Henry Dryden.

For help in special regions (also specifically acknowledged in the text) the author wishes to thank Mr. E. Thurlow Leeds, F.S.A., of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; and Mr. J. G. Wood, F.S.A. For much local assistance he wishes to thank Mrs. Hookham, of Broadway, and the Rev. R. Jowett-Burton. For an introduction which led ultimately to the publication of this book, the author is indebted to Mr. A. E. W. Paine, to whom he wishes once again to express his gratitude.

Finally he wishes to thank the publisher, Mr. William Bellows, President of the Cotteswold Naturalists' Field Club, and Dr. Alfred Cox, O.B.E., Hon.M.A., who has corrected the proofs, for their patience and perseverance.

Southampton,

February 14th, 1925.