Barrow project - Ogbourne St Andrew History Group

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Barrow project

Archaeology > Parish barrows

The unique early bronze age mound in the churchyard at Ogbourne St Andrew has suffered from many years of neglect and was very overgrown before a community clearance effort.  There is the possibility it sits on an earlier Neolithic structure.  Together with professional archaeologists we are currently carrying out a resistivity slice survey on this fascinating multi period site to interrogate its internal structure.  Since the mound is a Scheduled Monument, a Section 42 Licence has been granted by Historic England for this survey to be carried out.

Most geophysical techniques are not practicable on this mound, due to to the presence of so many trees.  The usually preferred technique, resistivity, also suffers from a severe limitation in insufficient depth penetration, so a linear "slice" technique is being used which will reach at least 4metres into the mound.  A series of slices across the mound, avoiding the trees, will enable the construction of a 3D image of the interior and underlying ground.

The first phase of the project to clear many years of undergrowth and fallen trees was carried out in late 2018 by a small groups of volunteers working to cut the weeds and shrubs.   (see photo gallery - clearance)

As a result of contact with Historic England to obtain advice on the subsequent maintenance of the barrow, it was placed on the "Monument at Risk Register", with a number of diseased and leaning trees creating a threat to the barrow.  An application to Historic England for grant funding to remove trees and replant with grass was successful and the tree clearance was undertaken in July 2019.  Autumn 2019 will see reseeding and the subsequent three years maintenace will be supported by Historic England.  
*** (see photo gallery - tree removal) ***

A topographical survey of the site has been carried out, the resistivity technique evaluated and data is being collected  (see photo gallery - survey) for typical results.  A great deal of data reduction will be required before a coherent story can be presented!

If you wish to take part in the survey please use our contact page to obtain up to date details.

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