In a previous post, I described an initial survey which aimed to look for a lost long barrow near Sopley. The barrow was apparently bulldozed by American troops in WW2 to make way for Winkton airfield. The first survey took in two 20m squares, and although inconclusive, gave a tantalising hint that there may be a large feature which potentially continued outside the survey area.
Yesterday, members of AVAS and The Christchurch Antiquarians returned to the site to extend the survey area. Conditions were challenging, with numerous trees and bushes to navigate around. However, the results were amazing, as shown below
The image above shows a large high resistance feature, shown in white and light grey, which appears to have a curved end to the south. This feature is about 65m in length. The shape of this feature suggests it is man made, and it has the shape and form suggestive of a long barrow. It is really exciting that the feature is positioned exactly where we thought the destroyed long barrow may be located. Here are a couple of images with the old Ordnance Survey maps draped on top:
It can be seen that the unusual elongated enclosure on the OS maps coincides with the high resistance feature we picked up. In addition, the original Victorian description of the barrow said it was seventy yards long and twenty yards wide, almost exactly the dimensions of our high resistance feature.
So what can we conclude from the survey results? The large feature we have picked up in the survey certainly exhibits a long barrow shape, and has a length that would be consistent with that type of monument. Without excavation, it is of course impossible to prove this is the site of a long barrow, but combined with the circumstantial evidence outlined in a previous post, we believe there is now compelling evidence that we may have rediscovered the site of a burial mound that was bulldozed during WW2.
This was our first survey using the resistivity meter, and helps demonstrate the success of the LoCATE project, a partnership between Bournemouth University and the New Forest National Park Authority aimed at providing training and access to advanced survey equipment for local groups. We are extremely grateful to those two organisations for setting up this initiative.
To finish, here is a picture of the survey in progress.