Journal of the British Archaeological Association

Journal of the British Archaeological Association is in Prehistory.

The British Archaeological Association was founded in 1843 for the study of archaeology, art, and architecture, and to promote the preservation of historic monuments and antiquities. The Journal of the British Archaeological Association, containing original papers within the Association's areas of interest, is published annually.

Journal of the British Archaeological Association Volume 7 1851

Remarks on Barrows opened near Bakewell by Thomas Bateman (age 29)

Although not more than a third of the crania were recovered in a perfect state, yet in each instance the same extraordinary elongation was most apparent; as it is also in skulls from the following chambered cairns, described in a former part of my printed journal, namely, Bull Hill, on Bakewell Moor; Stoney Low, on Brassington Moor; and some others of a similar character.

The remains of chambered tumuli [Five Wells Chambered Tomb [Map]] near Monyash, Taddington (Plate XVIII, fig. 3), and at Minninglow, may be cited as fine examples of this class of sepulchre; they are all of great size, and though much mutilated, are highly interesting, and well worth the trouble of a visit from archaeologists who have leisure.

Journal of the British Archaeological Association Volume 16 1860

Journal of the British Archaeological Association Volume 16 Page 101

On the Rock-Basins of Dartmoor and British Remains in England by Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson, D.C.L., F.R.S., Vice-President.

The same disposition occurs in a circular enclosure known as "Arthur's Table," near Penrith in Cumberland; where the central platform is surrounded by a ditch, and by an agger on the outside of the ditch;

and a still more remarkable instance occurs at Arbe Low [Map]1 in Derbyshire. (See pl. 9.) This has two entrances. The inner platform is 167 feet in diameter, and the ditch is 18 feet broad at the bottom. The stones are small compared to those of Abury, the largest belonging to the circle measuring 13 feet by 7; while one of the largest at Abury measures from 14 to 18 feet in length, 12 feet 3 inches in height, and 7 feet (varying to 2 feet 4 inches) in thickness : and the platform of Abury has an average diameter of 1,130 feet. The agger of Arbor Low is still about 15 to 18 feet high, or from 20 to 24 to the bottom of the ditch; and the circumference at the top of it is nearly 820 feet.

It has been stated that the narrow end of the stones points to the centre of the circle; but as Mr. Bateman2 justly remarks, it points as often towards the ditch ; and instead of radiating to or from the centre, as if to imitate the sun's rays, they lie in the direction in which they have fallen : for it is evident that they originally stood upright, as in other sacred circles; and the notion of those who doubt it is evidently erroneous, as some are even now in an oblique position, the upper end not having yet reached the ground ; confirming the statement of an old man, mentioned by Mr. Bateman, who declared that he had seen them standing obliquely on one end. The entrances open towards the north and south, and the two passages leading from them to the platform measure each about 27 feet in breadth.

Here the advocates of the ophite [serpent] theory see in the wall, or dyke of stone and earth, which runs from the western side of the agger, near the southern entrance, the form of the wished-for serpent, and connect it by a proper curve with a large barrow or tumulus, called Gib Hill [Map], standing about three hundred paces to the westward, which is conveniently made into the reptile's head; but as the dyke heedlessly continues its course even beyond the line of the tumulus, and there terminates in some broken stones, it plainly shews that it has no connexion whatever with the tumulus, or supposed serpent's head, — if, indeed, the dyke is of equal antiquity with it.

Note 1. Called Arbe or Arbor Low. Lowe or low, a Saxon word signifying a hill or mound, is the law of Northumberland. (See plan.)

Note 2. Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire.

At Arbe Low, as in some other sacred circles, are certain stones in the centre which have the appearance of a sanctuary, or a cromlech1, as some imagine ; and one of them measures 1 4 feet by 8 feet 7 inches, being larger than any of those forming the circle. The agger had a counterscarp towards the ditch, fronted with stone, and was itself composed of small stones and earth.

Note 1. Cists have been found in sacred and other circles, as well as in the walls of forts; and also a certain kind of cromlech covered with two or more flat slabs. The cromlech proper has only one massive cover-stone, generally convex on its upper surface, or sloping at one end; whence some suppose the name "cromlech" has been derived, — crom (or in Irish crobm) signifying bowed or bent, and llech, a slab. The cromlech has been confounded with the subterraneous chamber, which frequently has a long covered passage leading into it ; especially in France and the Channel Islands. I divide the cromlechs into five: 1°, the cromlech proper, or three-pillared cromlech, supported on three stones ; 2°, the four-pillared, or cist-cromlech, supported on four slabs enclosing a square space like a cist or chest; 3°, the many-pillared cromlech with more than four slabs or piers, as Arthur's Stone in Gower, and Trevethy and Zennor Quoits in Cornwall ; 4°, the chamber-cromlech with high walled sides composed of several upright slabs (the Dolmen of France), sometimes with several large cover-stones ; and 5°, the subterraneous chamber (cromlech) above mentioned. But this last is not properly a cromlech. Some think cromlech a later name, ami that it was originally merely Heck; but cromlech is the name among the peasantry, who do not derive names from books. They are probably all sepulchral.

At the south-east corner, about fifty feet from the southern entrance, is another barrow or tumulus [Map], projecting from the exterior of the agger, in which a vase was found, of British time;

and in the large tumulus called Gib Hill [Map], a cist was discovered, consisting of a slab placed on upright stones; both which are in Mr. Bateman's valuable collection at Youlgrave. (See vol. xv, p. 152, pi. 12, of this Journal, 1859.)

Wayland Smith On The Legendary History Of Wayland Smith by Thom. Wright (age 49), Esq., M.A., F.S.A., Etc.