Site Event/Activity record EEM14726 - 2017: Geo (MS; RS) - Withypool Stone Circle

Technique(s)

Organisation

AC Archaeology

Date

January/February 2017

Description

The aims of the geophysical surveys were: 1. To identify any below-ground structural components of the stone circle and barrows (such as ditches, pits, burning activity, cists, walling, etc.), 2. To ascertain the presence/absence of an encircling ditch or kerb to the barrow and cairn, 3. To identify any adjacent archaeological features, 4. knowledge of surveying sites of this type from previous geophysical survey work carried out at the Chapman Barrows and Porlock Stone Circle, and 5. To use a range of modern remote sensing techniques including gradiometry, earth resistance and GPR. The survey comprised magnetometer and earth resistance surveys. A planned ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey across the barrow and cairn was abandoned after inspecting the ground conditions. The barrow had a disturbed and stony summit and boggy ground to the north which precluded a good ground contact for the radar equipment. Similar conditions were found on the cairn. Both the magnetic and earth resistance responses were sufficient to be able to differentiate anomalies representing possible archaeological features. Forty-one magnetic data anomalies and twenty-two resistance anomalies were characterised as representing potential archaeological deposits and features. Both the magnetometer and resistance data contained evidence for structural components with in the bowl barrow situated in the northeast of the geophysical survey area (HER MSO8683). It is clear the resistance data reflected different, probably slightly deeper deposits in the barrow than those represented by the magnetic data. The resistance anomaly groups around and within the barrow strongly suggested the presence of an external encompassing ditch and a barrow with a relatively stony composition. Both data sets contained evidence of disturbance at the barrow summit and the likely presence of robber and/or excavation trenches. The magnetometer data contained evidence for a number of cairns, only one of which was previously recorded (HER MSO8756). The anomalies manifested as relatively high, positive responses. Such patterns can imply the presence of burnt material. Two magnetic anomaly groups with characteristics often associated with intense, in-situ heating were recorded adjacent to the bowl barrow. One, and possibly two similar groups were recorded within the Withypool stone circle (HER MSO8682). A disrupted, sub-circular resistance anomaly group followed the course of a modern path surrounding Withypool stone circle and the most likely explanation is that this anomaly group represents the path. The magnetic data within and around the stone circle has a number of anomalies that could be interpreted as pits or large postholes. Whilst some these are most likely to represent natural deposits, their association with the stone circle made their mapping as potential archaeological deposits prudent. One group appeared to form a linear pattern of potential pits. Two resistance anomaly groups were likely to represent two small mounds, the age and function of which are uncertain but it may be associated with military training activities of Second World War date (HER entry MMO3191). Other magnetic groups appeared to represent disturbed ground with ferrous material present and these also may be of Second World War date. Other anomaly groups representing potential archaeological deposits or features are discussed in Section 4.

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> Report: Passmore, A. and Dean, R.. 2018. Withypool Hill, Withypool, Exmoor Park: Results of archaeological desk-based assessment, measured and photographic survey of Withypool Stone Circle, and geophysical survey.

Map

Location

Location Withypool Hill, Withypool, Somerset
Grid reference Centred SS 8390 3436 (252m by 224m)
Map sheet SS83SW
Civil Parish WITHYPOOL AND HAWKRIDGE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Related Monuments/Buildings (23)

  • Possible prehistoric cairn on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Possible prehistoric cairn on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Possible prehistoric cairn on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Possible prehistoric cairn on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Possible prehistoric cairn on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Possible prehistoric cairn on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Possible prehistoric cairn on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Possible prehistoric cairn on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Possible prehistoric cairn on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Possible prehistoric cairn on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Possible prehistoric cairn on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Possible prehistoric cairn on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Possible undated curvilinear feature on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Possible undated pit on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Possible undated subcircular feature on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Possible undated subcircular feature on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Possible undated subcircular feature on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Possible World War Two features on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Undated feature on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Undated feature on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Undated features on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Undated routeway on Withypool Hill (Monument)
  • Withypool Stone Circle, Withypool Hill (Monument)

Parent/preceding Site Events/Activities (1)

  • 2017: DBA; WS - Withypool Hill

Record last edited

Sep 4 2018 1:37PM