Proceedings of the Cotteswold Naturalists' Field Club Volume 5 Page 277

Proceedings of the Cotteswold Naturalists' Field Club Volume 5 Page 277 is in Proceedings of the Cotteswold Naturalists' Field Club Volume 5.

On the Early Occupation of the Cotteswold Hills by Man. By G. F. Playne. Bead at Williton, October 5th, 1870.

In common with many districts of England, the Cotteswold Hills retain traces of their occupation by early races of men, of whose existence we have little evidence except the remains of their works. These remains consist of portions of the dwellings in which they sheltered, of defensive works by which they protected themselves, of structures whereby they marked the graves of their dead, and accompanying these larger works are found various implements, ornaments, and weapons of stone, earth, and metal. These relics, from the imperishable character of their materials, have suffered comparatively little by the ordinary effects of nature ; but by the agency of man very many have been injured, and numbers have doubtless disappeared altogether. The plough has been the great leveller of earthworks ; the mere value of the materials has led to the removal of many structures formed of massive stones ; the treasure-seeker has marred the antiquarian interest of numbers of barrows ; and the researches of antiquaries have aided in the destruction of these ancient works. Those which have remained to the present time are now subjected to these various destructive agencies in a rapidly increasing ratio, — 'by the inclosure of "common" lands, whose hitherto untilled surfaces have preserved in a remarkable manner even slight depressions or mounds made many centuries ago ; by the more thorough cultivation of long existing farms, for which barrows or other works before spared are now removed ; and by the restless activity of antiquaries, whose investigations threaten to leave to the future few vestiges of these ancient works intact. It therefore appears desirable to take note of the present state of these remains, and to gather up the evidences they afford before they altogether disappear. I shall not attempt to give a detailed account of all the camps, barrows, and other traces of the early occupation of the Cotteswold range, but having recently devoted considerable time and labour to an examination of those which are found in my own neighbourhood, I trust that a condensed report of them may not be without interest ; believing that this district, though certainly rich in such remains, is by no means exceptional, and that other districts, carefully examined, yield similar evidences.

The accompanying map embraces an area of five miles square, having the village of Nailsworth nearly at its centre. On this map the valleys are shaded, the higher grounds are unshaded. In the valleys few remains of early man have been met with, whilst it will be seen at a glance how numerous they are on the higher land, — not only are extensive earthworks there traced, but many tumuli stud the surface.

The following table contains partictulars of nineteen tumuli, which occur in the area embraced by this map, whilst for the purposes of comparison the dimensions of the well-known Uley Bury Tumulus are given at the head of the list.

Nos. 1 to 7 of the above [moved to below!] table are very similar as regards their external form to the Uley Tumulus, and have probably all contained stone chambers. A few remarks will suffice as to their present condition, and serve to show how much injury they have suffered even during the present century.

The largest tumulus of this district stands on Selsley Hill ; it is known as "The Toots [Map]," and has been opened in three places, but I am not aware that any record has been preserved of the results of this disturbance. The Bown Hill Tumulus [Map] (Fig. 2) was opened by the Club in May, 1863, and found to have been formed over stone chambers ; particulars of this examination are given in the " Proceedings of the Club," Yol. III., page 199. The tumulus on Minchinhampton Common, popularly known as "Whitfield's Tump [Map]," has been so thoroughly distiirbed as to render it difficult to ascertain its original form and dimensions.

The belief that these tumuli contained treasure led to the disturbance of the remarkably fine barrow (No. 4) which occupies the ridge immediately above the northern entrance to Gatcombe Park. About sixty years ago, a poor woman, who, from the faith she placed in her dreams of hidden treasure, gained the sobriquet of " Molly Dreamer," spent much time in digging into this and other barrows of the neighbom-hood. Within the present year this tumulus has been opened by our associate. Canon Lysons, and at the eastern end two very large' stones occupying the centre of the mound were uncovered. Dwarf waUs neatly constructed of Stonesfield slate curve in from the east and tenninate at these stones, and by openings made in the sides of the tumulus indications were obtained that this dwarf wall extends round the whole mound.1

Note 1. Note. — April, 1871. At the time the above-mentioned examinations were made no chamber was met with, but since then a fine stone chamber has been accidentally discovered by a workman in Mr. Eichardo's employ. It occupies a spot on the northern side, nearly at the widest part of the tumulus, and is 8 ft. long, 4 ft. wide, 6 ft. 6 in. high, and has an entrance porch 3 ft. square ; this porch was faced by two stones so placed as to give access by a small opening between them. This structure is formed by seven stones placed on edge, and the sepulchral chamber is covered with a massive stone. 9 ft. 6 in. long and 5 ft. 6 in. wide. The spaces between the upright stones are filled in by walls of Stonesfield slate very neatly arranged, and in some parts these are brought over towards the top so as to meet the covering stone. One skeleton was found ; the corpse had apparently beou placed in a sitting position at tlie farthest end of the chamber. The skull measured 8 inches iu length, and 5 inches in breadth.

Near Gatcombe Park there is another tumulus (No. 6 of the foregoing table) [The Tingle Stone [Map]] which is interesting as forming in several respects an exception to the other oval tumuli of the district. It does not occupy, as the others do, the highest level of its neighbourhood, for, although placed on a slight knoll, it is overlooked from rising ground on its eastern side. In its direction also it is exceptional, being placed due N. and S., the broadest part being at about one-third of the entire length from the north end of the mound. It is also the only example in the district of a crowned burrow, — on the broadest part stands a large stone, 6 feet in height, which bears the name of "Tingle Stone [Map]."

The Avening Tumulus [Map] (No. 6) was opened in the year 1809 by the Rev. N. Thornbuky, Rector of Avening; three stone chambers were taken out, removed to a grove in the rectory garden, and there carefully set up in the forms and relative positions they had occupied in the tumulus, so that even in their present state they afford good examples of such sepulchral chambers. The largest is 7 feet long, 7 feet wide, and 4 feet high, and has one side formed by two stones so placed as to give access to the chamber.

The Lechmore Tumulus [Map] contained so recently as 1812 one chamber, but the stones of which it was constructed have since been removed for building material, and the mound itself is now reduced in size year by year by the operation of the plough.

Two ancient monuments, probably coeval with these large oval tumuli, remain to be noticed. A few hundred yards to the north of the Gatcombe Park Tumulus stands a fine monohth, known as "The Long-stone." (Plate 2.) It is 7½ ft. high above grund, and is popularly believed to be as much beneath the surface. It is a block of a peculiar stratum of Great Oolite, which in this district immediately underlies the surface soil. From the circumstance that this stratum is pierced by ii-regular holes, which become larger on exposure to the air, this monolith presents a singular appearance. A much smaller stone stands 30 feet from the "Long Stone," and a third stone is stated to have been removed during the present century.

On the Ordnance Map there is marked as standing on the hill-top south of Nailsworth, "The Picked Stone," but this monolith, which is well remembered by many people of the neighbourhood, has been removed, and is believed to have been used in the building of a stack of stone steps in a farm-yard near Barton End. "The Picked Stone" was about 4 feet high, and occupied the highest spot on the hills in that locality.

In addition to the seven oval barrows already mentioned, there occur in the area included in the sketch map eleven tumuh of a very different construction. They are circular, and do not inclose stone chambers, but are simply mounds of earth and stone, varying from 35 feet to 60 feet in diameter, and were originally about five feet in height. These smaller tumuli have not suffered by the hand of man so generally as the larger; the latter, from their great si^e and .the conspicuous situations they occupy, have attracted the interest of the curious for many generations past, and, as already mentioned, have been greatly injured; whilst these smaller grave-mounds, where they have enjoyed the protection of surrounding woods, have retained their original form and height, and even such as have been brought under cvQtivation and reduced in height have yet retained the deposit of ashes and bones over which they were placed, undisturbed by the action of the plough.

I must plead guilty to having destroyed for futiu-e antiquaries the interest of eight of these circular tumuli. In 1851 I assisted in opening the one marked "12," which stood on the hill-side west of the village of Avening. It was 50 feet in diameter and 5 feet in height. On what had been the original surface, charcoal and ashes were scattered, and at the centre of the mound a handful of burnt human bones were found. No flints were tJien observed, although ten persons were engaged in the opening ; but on a recent visit to this tumulus two worked flints were picked up from its surface.

Of nearly equal dimensions to the last is a circular tumulus which stands a few hundred yards dii-ectly south of the Lechmore oval tumulus. This I thoroughly examined in November, 1869. The materials forming the central portion of the mound were removed down to the original surface of the ground. The upper portion was found to consist of stone and rubble to the depth of 18 inches ; the remaining 3 feet 6 inches was fine mould. In this fine mould 80 flints were found, also 4 small pieces of pottery, and a few teeth of oxen. On what had been the surface soil before the construction of the barrow, traces of the action of fire were perceptible, — charcoal, burned bones, and small pieces of a human skull lay scattered about; whilst exactly at the centre of the tumulus a hole, 8 inches in depth, had been made, and in it lay a few burned human bones. The flints were found in every part of the heap of fine mould,— some were flakes, thin and sharp-edged, forming scraping or cutting implements, and including the "knife," figured on Plate 4, fig. 4; but the majority were mere chippings. One flint arrow-point (see Plate 4, fig. 1) of an uncommon type lay near the deposited bones. No trace of metal was observed. The pottery, rude in structure, was ornamented by a pattern formed by dotted lines.

The "Journal of the Archseological Association" (Vol. IV., page 60) contains an account of the discovery of a number of interments in a field near Chavenage, from which were obtained iron spear-heads, bronze fibulae, silver ear-rings, stone, clay, and amber beads, all characteristic specimens of Anglo-Saxon workmanship. These interments were met with in the year 1847 by workmen employed to level down two circular tumuH, which stood 300 feet due N. and S., one from the other. This levellingdown process, though uncovering the secondary graves, did not disturb the central portions of the original grave-mounds, and these I have carefully examined during the present year. In one, charcoal, burned bones, small pieces of pottery, and worked flints were foiind on the original surface, and a few inches higher a very well worked flint javelin-point (see Plate IV., fig. 2.) What remained of the other tumulus was still protected by stones, which covered a deposit of fine soil, in which were found some pieces of iron-stone and of charcoal, but no trace of any interment ; and neither bones, pottery, or flints were met with.

In Gatcombe Woods, a small mound, occupying nearly the hio-hest spot of the hill, was found on examination to be formed of'stones, the weathered edges of which attested that they had long lain exposed on the surface before they were thus heaped together. Underneath these protecting blocks of stone lay, at the centre of the mound, very small pieces of pottery, burned bones, and one thin sharp-edged worked flint. The calcined bones were of small size, and amongst them lay a tooth which a competent authority has decided to be "a left central mcisor of the permanent set from a child not more than four years old.' The mound was very carefully searched for other rehcs, but beyond traces of charcoal on the original surface nothing else was met with. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that this tumulus was raised in honour of a mere child.

The circular tumulus (No. 9) occupied a field near the Windmill on Minchinhampton Common. Two years ago the occupier of this place dreamed that this tump contained a crock of gold, and set workmen to dig into it. His reward was to find that the central position consisted of fine mould, but the only treasure found was an iron ring and a few fragments of bronze. Professor Church has kindly analysed this bronze, and states that "it consisted originally of an aUoy of copper, with a good percentage of tin, a very little zinc, a trace of iron, and no lead It is thoroughly corroded into sub-oxide and green carbonate ot copper. It is certainly ancient and unlike in composition any of the Eomano-British mixed metals which I have examined from Gloucestershire."

On the hill above Hyde a circular tumulus (No. 10) had been ploughed down all except 30 inches. On opening the centre of this,°I found stones thrown together protecting a layer of grey coloured tempered earth, eight inches in depth; beneath this was a circular excavation in the original soil, 5 feet in diameter and 10 inches in depth. The sides of this hole were protected by stones placed on edge around it, and it was filled with earth burned to the consistency of brick, and this contained fragments of burned human bones. On the upper surface of the grey deposit lay charcoal, rude pottery, pebbles, unburned bones of sheep (?), a small piece of bronze, apparently part of an ornament, and a beautifully formed leaf-shaped arrow-point (Plate IV., fig. 3.)

The circiilar tumulus (No. 18) having been until recently surrounded by woods, had retained nearly its original form and size. On opening it I found it to consist of fine earth firmly consolidated, as though it had been thrown together when thoroughly moistened by water. A heap of ashes and thoroughly burned human bones occupied the usual position at the centre of the tumidus, and on a level with the surrounding surface. One small piece of pottery and two ox teeth were met with, but not one piece of flint or metal.

It will be observed that in every case now described these circular tumuli have been made over interments preceded by cremation, — that the ashes of the dead were unprotected by urns, — that metal has rarely been met with, bronze in two cases, and iron1 in two also, — and that in three instances flint implements (Plate IV., figs. 1, 2, and 3) have been deposited near the remains of the departed.

Note 1. I am indebted to Professor Church for an examination of specimens of iron found in circular tumuli and in pit-dwellings. The former are natural ironstones, and may have been used for sling-stones ; the latter are artificial ironslags. Iron, both in the form of ore and in the condition of slag, occurs scattered in the surface-soil of the Cotteswolds. In some localities, as near Avening, it occurs in considerable quantity.

The fine tumulus (No. 19) which stands on the brow of the hill above the village of The Hyde, and which was visited by the Club in May, 1869, is probably of a much later age than the circular tumuli which have just been mentioned. From the dimensions given in the table at page 278, it will be seen that it difiers in its external form from the oval tumifli Nos. 1 to 7. It was opened in the year 1848 by the occuipier of the field in which it stands, and was found to contain "a space inclosed by large unhewn stones," and in this chamber lay burned bones and ashes, and a bronze fibula of a Roman type.

The next relics of the early occupants of our hills to be described are the remains of their defensive works. A good example of one of these is still traceable in a copse one mile south east of Nailsworth, It incloses an area of about ten acres in extent, and is formed by slight mounds and ditches constructed on curved lines, as shown by the plan on Plate III., fig. 4. In one pai-t are three parallel lines, two of which have the ditches outside their mounds, whilst the third has the ditch inside. The outer line — a, b, c, d, — has an elevation of 4 feet from the bottom of the ditch to the top of the bank, and may possibly have been a later work added to strengthen the camp, and so constructed that the area a, b, c, forms an independent inclosure. The other lines of earthworks are very slight, and the whole works could have presented little defence unless, as was probably the case, they were strengthened by palisadings of trees and branches. The site of this camp being covered by a copse wood, I have been unable to find any flints within it on the surface of the ground, and only a few by careful digging in the ditches, but the arable fields immediately outside the line A, E, have yielded abundance, more than 1000 having there been gathered up ,including several javeHn-points, scrapers, flakes1, and two arrow-heads.

Note 1. Flakes found on tlie surfaces of fields are usually much broken, but on this spot several whole flakes have been met with, one of which has an artificially serrated edge, which will yet "saw" horn and bone.

One mile north of Nailsworth, on the hill-top immediately above Amberley, is the earthwork marked b on the map. A simple slight ditch and mound run on the curved hne a, b, c, d, from the village of Littleworth to the escarpment above Spriggswell, including an area of about 50 acres in extent. Across this area a much more important work has been constructed on the line B, E. Half a mile eastward there is another series of intrenchments, commencing at the head of a deep combe above the village of the Box at p ; this work also runs in an irregular curve on the line p, g, h, i, k, there it is protected by a parallel line L, and this again by another parallel hne m, which terminates at the head of a combe, the whole work inclosing more than a square mile. At h there is a passage through the mound and across the ditch, which a careful examination proved to have been part of the original design. Between k and i some portion of the intrenchments have been destroyed in the construction of a park and a turnpike road.

To the north-west of Amberley Camp, at a distance of less than two miles, is Selsley Hill, on which there is an earthwork at D. There a very slight mound and ditch, o, p, form an irregular line, and in the area between this and the hiU sides can be counted some 130 of those depressions in the surface which are believed to have been the floors of human habitations. As pointed out by the Eev. A. S. Page, not one of these pits is found outside the line of defence formed by the mound and ditch. To picture out the appearance of this work when occupied by its constructors, we may suppose, erected over each of these depressions, huts formed of branches and trees, and thatched, whilst the protecting momid would be strengthened by a palisading of stakes or branches.

The requirements of the occupiers of the camp on Selsley Hill did not lead them either to extend it beyond its original dimensions, or to strengthen it by the addition of other lines of defence, but with the Amberley Camp (b) it was otherwise. The series of entrenchments already mentioned as extending for two miles eastward of the slight work, a, b, c, d, are of the same character and strength as the line b e, and vnth that present a series of five parallel lines of defence, the ditches being in all cases on the eastern sides of the mounds. Pitdwellings are found in great numbers, not only in the Amberly Camp, but in the area bounded by tlie lines c, g, f ; altogether 700 have been counted, and it would be probably no exaggeration to say that 300 more have been obliterated by the opening of quarries and the construction of roads. A slight mound may be traced on the line c, g, and it is noteworthy that scarcely any pits have been made to the north of the line a, c, g. The dwellings were most numerous near the escarpment, which may be accounted for not only from the greater shelter this part enjoyed from cold "winds, but also from its proximity to fine springs of water thrown out by the Fuller's Earth at the base of the escarpment.

On Rodborough Hill, one mile north of the Amberley Camp, there are a large number of pit-dwellings, to which the attention of the Club was first directed by Mr. Witchell in 18641; nearly 400 have been counted, and cultivated inclosures and roads have probably removed all traces of 200 or 300 more. They are very numerous on the slope of the hill opposite Woodchester, at a part protected on the south-east by a deep combe. A mound and ditch of considerable strength remains at the spot e, as marked on the map, but cultivation has left only a short length of this work unlevelled.

Note 1. Transactions, Vol. III., page 249.

Having examined a large number of these pits on Minchrnhampton Common and on Rodborough Hill, it may be well to place on record the results. Their usual form is shown by the sections drawn on Plate III., fig. 1. The soil was thrown out in making the pit forms a mound on one side. Where the surface of the ground is sloping, this mound is almost mvanably cast up on the lower side ; but where the pit has been constructed on a level surface, it is more generally on the north or northeast side. One interesting exception to the usual form is shown at fig. 3, Plate III.; it occurred on Minchinhampton Common, where the thin-bedded Great Oolite is so compact that, with care in excavating the present contents of the pit its original size and shape were accurately ascertained. It was 3 leet 6 inches deep at the middle, with a straight and upright side nearest the mound ; on the opposite side a seat, 18 inches high, had been formed, on which was placed a flat stone. Another stone at F protected the opening to a natural fissure in the rock, by which the pit must have been effectually drained; the abundance of charcoal at the spot marked E indicated the position of a fire-place.

On Minchinhampton Common the Pits are remarkably uniform in size, being from 10 to 13ft. in length, 3ft. wide and about 30 inches deep, at the middle. On Selsley Hill the e depressions are much larger, being from 20 to 25ft. long, 10 to 12ft. wide, though not so deep as those on Hampton Common. On Rodborough Hill both these types are found.

These pits have yielded but few objects to throw hght on the condition or habits of their occupants. In some cases a few specks of charcoal, in others, one or two burned stones, or a small shard of pottery, a pebble, or a chip of flint, are the only relics met with. These objects are not all found at the bottom of the original excavations, but are scattered throughout the present contents in such a manner as to suggest the probability that much of the filling up took place during the time of their occupation. On Minchinhampton Common many of the pits are filled nearly level with the surrounding surface, vegetable soil and turf having accumulated in them to the thickness of eight inches. On Rodborough and Selsley where the strata are the more barren Inferior Oolites, there is a very thin covering of soil and turf, and the pits contain only a small accumulation of rubbly stone.

These pits and mounds afford a considerable shelter from wind even without further protection, but in all probability they were surmounted by a hut formed of poles or branches and thatch. In size they comj)are favourably with the hut shelters of many modern savages, as for instance, the natives of Australia and Patagonia, and we need not go farther than our hills for illustrations of man living in dwellings equally slight. I measured this year on Eodborough Hill a gipsy's tent in which the man, wife, and four children lived, and found it only 6 feet long, 5 feet wide, and 3 feet 6 inches high. The gipsy who uses his tent for a sleeping place, and for shelter from wind and rain, makes his fii-e on the open ground outside ; these arrangements were probably the same with the early pit-folk, as in only one or two exceptional cases have traces of a fire-place been met with in the pits.

There are on Minchinhampton Common several bowl-like depressions; they are circular, from 20 to 30 feet across, and their depth varies in proportion to their diameter, the largest having been originally 7 feet in depth. Several occur on the line B, C, G, and in the ditch G, P, and from their evident connection with these defensive works I regard them as watchpits.

In addition to the works already mentioned as existing on Minchinhampton Common there remain to be described numerous low mounds, to which the attention of the Club was especially directed on the occasion of its visit there in ay, 1869. The following is a brief summary of 40 of these mounds:

Five are circular, from 20 to 40 feet in diameter, and about 18 inches high; thirty-five are oblong, from 30 to 180 feet in length, about 24 feet in breadth, and 24 inches in height. In the construction of these oblong mounds great uniformity has been observed in their width and height. Their directions are very various— sixteen are nearly N. and S., and ten nearly E. and W. The object for which these mounds were made is as yet an unsolved enigma. The examinations made by the Club in 1869 under the valued superintendence of Mr. Cunniugton, and the many previous and subsequent openings made, have failed to bring to light any evidence that they are places of interment. The original surfaces of the soil beneath them are not found to present any sign that cremation has there taken place, and no human remains burned or unburned have as yet been detected in the mounds. In some instances they have been formed by first placing the mould in the centre, and then heaping over it rubble ; in other cases the lines of the original ttirf and mould remain in situ, covered directly with rubbly soil. Scattered sparingly in the mounds are found pottery, charcoal, iron slag, pebbles, and a few flint chips. In one small circular mound near Amberley, numerotis small pieces of pottery were observed to He on what had been the surface of the mound before the formation of the present tui-f, whilst none were found in the body of the mound. Having sent a description of these earthworks to the Rev. Canon Greenwell (age 48), of Durham, he very kindly replied — "I have observed a large number of circular mounds, evidently artificial, and which in many cases were close to larger mounds, in which burials have been found. These smaller mounds occur in groups of sometimes fifty or sixty. I never found the least trace of any burial in them, or the slightest fragment of pottery or chipping of flint. My explanation is that they covered unburnt bodies, interred without vase or implement, and that from the slight covering over them, so allowing the air free admission, all trace of the body has disappeared. This explanation is, I confess, not satisfactory to my own mind, but I cannot suggest any other which appears to be more reasonable. I have also opened several oblong mounds in Yorkshire and Westmoreland with the like results. In Westmoreland they are called ' giants' graves/ and are very numerous ; the size is, however, very much less than those you refer to in your locality, being not more than from 20 to 30 feet long, and from 6 to 8 wide, and about 1^ to 3 feet high. All those I opened had never suffered from the action of the plough or from any other disturbance."

As stated above, all the examinations which have been made lead to the conclusion that these low mounds on Minchinhampton Common are not sepulchral. On finding how in the case of one small circular mound the pottery, &c., lay on the original surface, it occurred to me that this was possibly a place on which the pit-folk assembled for feasting, and that all these low mounds occuring as they do in the midst of so many hutshelters, may have been constructed and used for special social purposes. The practices of modern savages throw light on the subject of hut-shelters. The inhabitants of Tierra-del-Fuego in our own day have various descriptions of wigwams. — "First, the winter wigwam, or ' Gool'ucurh,' which means log-house, is substantially built of logs, laid as closely together as possible, converging to a point at the top, and in the centre about eight feet high. The floor is sunken within, and is generally about two feet lower than the surface of the gTound without. The second class of wigwam is the ^Murana,' or summer wigwam; it is made wholly of boughs and branches. The third class is the 'Keena,' which is a long shed, built of large logs but open at both ends. This is used in the summer and is wholly set apart for celebrating religious ceremonies, and superstitious practices."1

Note 1. " Sovith Americau Missionary Magazine," July, 1869.

In the description of the Hazlewood Copse Camp, mention was made of the flints found in the adjoining fields. Similar flints are scattered over the surface of the whole of the district under consideration. They are met with sparingly in the valleys, and on the sides of the hills more abundantly, but in ever varying quantity on the high lands. A large proportion of these flints exhibit no mark of human workmanship, others bear marks of flaking but have no definite form, whilst some are such finished implements as the arrow-point fig. 6, Plate IV., which was found in a field in Avening Parish. Others again are javelin-points, rudely-flaked discs probably used as shng or hurlstones, and good specimens of the well-known "scrapers," as figs. 8, 9, and 10.

In extending the subject of the early occupation of our hills by man from the limited area around Nailsworth to the whole range of the Cotteswolds, it may be observed that on the map of the Ordnance Survey, 25 " Ancient Encampments" or " Camps" are marked on the hills. With one or two exceptions the outlines of these camps consist of irregular curved lines, very distinct in their character from the regular forms considered characteristic of Roman worTc. One form which these defensive works take is that which has been noticed in describing the Amberley and Minchinhampton Camps, namely a bold curved line, the ends of which rest on the abrupt escarpment of the hiU; such is the form of the Cleeve HOI Camp. In others, as at Nottingham Hill, Broadbarrow Green, and Horton Castle, a projecting promontory is cut off from the adjoining table land by a curved line. At Uley Bury, the Camp occupies the whole summit of the hill, and the works conform exactly to the outline of the natural escarpment. The most decided exception to these irregular forms is that of Little Sodbury Camp, which is a parallelogram inclosed on three sides by series of mounds and ditches constructed with great regularity, whilst the fourth side is bounded by the escarpment of the hill. This work contrasts finely with the neighbouring Horton Castle, where a bold promontory projecting into the Vale is cut off from the plateau by a single mound formed on a cui-ved Hne. The areas inclosed by these camps are generally small, in some cases not exceeding eight acres, and in this respect the Minchinhampton works present a striking contrast, as they contain 800 acres. Whilst the smaller camps were well adapted to serve as "castles" in time of actual war, this larger work was probably an established settlement of a British tribe, who first constructed with a slight mound the Amberley Camp, and then extended it as their need required. Of the eastern inclosure of 600 acres a small part has remained common land, and it is noteworthy that no pitdweUings are traceable there, but from its great extent, its southern aspect, the abundant springs of water it contains it was well fitted for a cattle-camp. If this was its use, it would be the means, in conjunction with the streams on either hand, yielding fish, and the covert offered for wild animals by the adjacent wooded valleys, of providing the means of subsistence to a numerous community.

In endeavoviring, in the absence of historical data, to assign an age to these camps, there is in addition to the character of their earthworks, one other item of evidence bearing lapon the question, namely, the relics which are found in connection with them. It has been shown in the foregoing remarks how scant is the evidence these have afforded in the case of the earthworks on the hills round Nailsworth. The pottery met with only as fragments in the camps and pits of Minchinhampton Common, although of rude material and often imperfectly burned is with one or two exceptions, "wheel-made." The paucity of flints is remarkable considering how abundantly they lie scattered on other high-lands of the district. These evidences therefore appear to lead to the conclusion, that the works on Minchinhampton Common were constructed and occupied by a people about, or shortly prior to the first Roman invasion of Britain, when by intercourse with the Continent, the Britons had acquired the knowledge of the potter's- wheel, and when in the construction of weapons and implements, flint had been superseded by metals.

It has been mentioned that the small inclosure marked on my map as Hazlewood Copse Camp was probably the work of a very early people, as evidenced by the numerous worked flints found in its immediate neighbourhood ; careful investigation may lead to a similar conclusion respecting the age of other camps on our hills. That Roman coins and other Roman works are met with from time to time in these camps merely tends to prove their occupation, but not their original construction by that people.

These defensive works once made would be used during times of internal wars, or foreign invasions. A local tradition points to the hollow between the last two parallel mounds east of the town of Minchinhampton as the scene of a bloody encounter between Saxon and Dane, and the locahty is known as "Woeful Dane Bottom."

On the Ordnance Map the positions of some Tumuli are marked, but many are omitted and the distinction of long and circular barrows is not indicated. The evidences afforded by the relics found in these tumuli as to the date of their construction are extremely scant. The oval barrows, according to the valuable researches of Dr. Thurnam were the work of a race of people differing decidedly from the constructors of the circular barrows, in the form of the skull and as far as negative evidence proves, in their ignorance of the use of metals. The two peoples may have been co-temporary, as amongst modern savages instances occur of tribes occupying the same countries, and yet differing in race, physical condition, and custom.

The chief evidence of the occupation of the Cotteswolds by a " pre-historic " race consists in the flint implements scattered so widely over their surface. These indicate a condition of existence of which no record has reached us, and serve to point out by the analogies of modern savage races, the condition of the Aboriginal inhabitants of our hills. From the fact that flint implements, such as those drawn on plate IV., figs. 1, 2, and 3, are found in round barrows, accompanied by bronze and iron, and evidently intentionally deposited near the remains of the dead, we may infer that from custom or superstitious association these stone implements were valued even after the knowledge of working metals had been acquired.