Monkton Farleigh G2
primary name: Monkton Farleigh G2
archaeology / bronze age
SiteName: Jug's Grave,
Parish: Monkton Farleigh,
LocalityType: bowl barrow,
LocalityType: round barrow,
Bowl barrow with primary interment of 2 fragmentary crouched (?)
inhumations (one head to NW., one to SE.) in stone cist
(4.3x2.10ftx12in, with paved floor and cup marks under capstone)
with 3 barbed and tanged arrowheads, 1 ranged arrowhead, a
circular gold sundisk with cruciform design, and 12 Beaker (?)
sherds. 4 secondary interments of fragmentary bones (all broken
except arms) were placed in the N. part of the mound, two in
intrusive stone lined cists, one with red ochre. Part of a stone
mace-head was found near N. edge of mound. A Type Bi Beaker was
also found in 1953. A cairn of flat stones covered the mound.
author: Martin, Andrew, Dr.
M.I. Mound " JUG'S GRAVE". Fig. 5. This mound has been known as
Jug's Grave to the three previous owners of the property, all of
whom have been interested in, but have not investigated, it. It
measures approximately 83 x 63 ft. and stands 4 ft. above ground
level. It is higher and wider at its western end, and the
highest part is at the point A. or a little to the east of that.
On the south and west there are some slight indications that a
ditch may have existed, and there are also a number of nearly
buried stones round the mound, but not so regular as to suggest
a peristalith. Some are in groups, and some may have rolled off
the mound. Three of the linear mounds connect with Mound M. I.
One of these, Mound II, appears to continue almost to the top,
after taking a semi- circular course for no obvious reason. At
some unknown date the mound has been quarried, leaving a
circular excavation on its north side, 20 ft. in diameter, with
vertical sides, reaching to the point A. No signs of nearby
dumps suggest the archaeologist or treasure-seeker. The floor of
this excavation was about 1 ft. above the level of the
surrounding ground. M.I. Burial No. 1. As a trench from F. to A.
was being commenced to ascertain what, if anything, had been
left by the quarrymen, a human parietal bone was noticed
protruding from the vertical face at B. at ground level, and 12
ft. from A. A jawbone and a number of other fragments of skull
were also found there, and on excavating the stone face, other
parts of a skeleton were found, all between B. and A. and within
37 ins. of the top of the parietal bone. All the larger bones
were in fragments and many were missing. Those found were sent
to Dr. Baxter of Bristol University Anatomical Dept. who
reported that they were of a young person aged 16 to 20,
probably male and of considerable antiquity. Insufficient parts
of the skull were found to establish the type. Later, further
fragments were found in the grass roots on the surface above the
burial, presumably thrown there when disturbed by the quarrymen.
It is hoped that these may fit with the others sufficiently for
measurement. This burial had been disturbed and consequently
afforded little useful evidence. M.I. Burial No. 2. Under a flat
stone of peculiar shape, with a pointed projection on one side
directed to the west at about 12 ins. lower level than that of
Burial No. 1, some teeth and bones of a child were found, also
in fragments. M.I. Burial No. 3. On excavating 5 ft. further
into the mound in a N.E. direction another human mandible and
many scattered bones and fragments were found at slightly above
the level of Burial No. 1. The only unbroken large bones were a
humerus and an Ulna. Many stones containing galls of yellow
ochre were found with these burials and some burned limestone
and red ochre. No implements, pottery or ornaments were found
here. These burials were covered by several layers of flat
stones sloping upwards towards the centre of the mound, as in
undisturbed barrows. If, therefore, these are secondary burials,
the stones must have been replaced with considerable care. It
is, of course, possible that the burials were made when the
barrow was constructed. They were on the northern side of the
mound, which is unusual with secondary burials. The trench 1 ft.
deep from F. to A. produced a few flint flakes and scrapers
only, all close to A. It was extended over the area F. A. G.
disclosing a construction of stones at C. having some appearance
of a cist, as shown in Fig. 5. Part of a stone mace was found 3
ft. north of A. The hole for the haft was cup-shaped on each
side. Large flat stones were found at ground level between A.
and B., sloping upwards towards the centre of the mound. Above
these was rubble, suggesting that the mound has been dug into
from the top and the hole refilled. M.I. Burial No. 4. At point
D., near the top of the mound there was a large stone. Under
this was a rectangular opening about 32 x 18 ins. with dry walls
and filled with small rubble arid soil. These were removed and
at a depth of about 18 ins. large stones were encountered,
making investigation from the top impossible. A trench was made
from 12 ft. to the west so as to open the supposed cist from one
end and below the obstructions. A number of human bones, teeth
and bone fragments were found including, again, two armbones in
an articulated position. No flints, implements or pottery were
found. This trench showed stones sloping towards the centre as
at B. The stones at the west end of the trench were more
vertical, and included a pointed stone standing above the
others. They appeared to form a retaining wall. Burial No. 5.
Primary. Loose rubble was removed at the supposed centre of the
mound, and A cavity was disclosed. This led to the south-east
corner of a megalithic rectangular cist, measuring 4 ft. 3 ins.
x 2 ft. 10 ins., with its long axis 20' west of north. A pile of
human bones, including part of a skull, was at the north end.
The walls were vertical stone slabs, their top edges being 2 ft.
6 ins below the highest part of the mound. The inside faces and
top edges appear to have been dressed. The east stone was about
5 ft. long, 11 ins, thick and broken in the middle. On the upper
part of its inner face there was a series of 5 circular holes
about 3 ins. to 5 ins. wide and 3 ins. to 6 ins. deep,
irregularly placed but all within 11 ins. of the top. There was
also a cup-shaped hole near the south -end 22 ins. x 4 in. deep.
These were apparently natural potholes. At about 12 ins, from
its south end the top edge of this stone sloped downwards
sharply, as though mitred. The west stone appears to be the same
size as the east stone but leans inward. It has two horizontal
grooves about 10 ins. long x 2 ins., apparently water worn, and,
at the south end there are three holes 11 ins. in diameter, 5
ins. apart, arranged in pyramid form. The south corner is mitred
in a similar manner to the east stone. The south stone is 6 ins.
thick and there is a space of about 7 ins. between it and the
east stone, the gap being filled by a smaller stone. The north
stone has sunk 6 ins. at its east end, and is split lengthways.
Stones have been inserted in the crack to raise the top part to
meet the capstone. The capstone has a tree growing above it but
appears to have been about 6 ft. x 4 ft. and is about 12 ins.
thick. It has two circular holes 1i ins. diameter in its under
surface and is cracked across in two directions dividing it into
4 pieces, of which that at the S.E. corner is missing. This has
left a triangular opening 18 ins. x 2 ft. x 3 ft. The remaining
parts of the capstone are held in place largely by the weight of
stones above them, and any interference might bring them down.
As it was important to preserve the cist, the remainder of the
capstone was not disturbed, and the only access therefore was
through the triangular opening, which made excavation difficult.
The floor was within 12 ins. of the roof, remarkably flat, and
it appeared to have been flooded. Water was dripping from the
fibrous roots of the tree above when the cist was first opened,
in rainy weather. The main roots did not penetrate the chamber.
The material of the floor was about a foot thick, in two fairly
well defined equal layers resting on a rough paving of small
stones. The top layer was fine gravel with a little clay, and
the lower stratum was of sandy loam containing stones and
appeared to be natural top soil. All visible bones being at the
N. end of the chamber, it was decided to excavate the south half
first. This was done to a depth of about 3 ins. and disclosed
three legbones parallel with and close to the west stone ; a
pile of ribs, two broken ulnas, a hip bone and some small bones
in the middle ; a humerus parallel with the east stone and
another by the south stone, and a skull and jawbone in fragments
in the S.E. corner. It was clear that either the burials had
been disturbed or no articulated interment had taken place. It
was decided therefore to continue to excavate the south half of
the cist before dealing with the top surface of the north part.
Various other bones were found, almost all of which were in the
gravelly layer, although a few fragments were found in the lower
stratum. The north half was then excavated in the same way. In
the N.W. corner was an unbroken skull. In the middle and about 2
ft. from the south end, and in the lower part of the gravel
layer, a coccyx lying N. -S., and facing east, with a left
hip-bone in close proximity, was found. Three sacral vertebrae
were north of, and in line with, the coccyx. This was the only
evidence found of any articulated inhumation having taken place.
The remains showed that there had been at least two burials in
the cist, but a number of bones are missing, including about 30
vertebrae. The skull from the S.E. corner has a cephalic index
76.8, showing that it is nearer to the long-heads than to the
round-heads. The N. W. skull was brachycephalic with index of
82. Outside the cist, and about 18 ins. south of it, a thigh and
hip-bone of a man were found, with a few other bones, level with
the. top of the cist. All bones have been sent to Dr. Baxter, of
Bristol University, who has kindly offered to report on them.
Finds. No implements were found in the cist other than a few
small flint flakes, two of them knife shape, and flints
apparently damaged by use A fragment of black wheel-made pottery
sixth of an inch thick, was found in the top layer of the north
end, and another fragment, slightly lower, black with red slip
on the outside, 0.25in. thick, not wheel-made and undecorated.
It was of rough material, and the inner face was missing. M.I.
Dating Material. The dating of this mound presents difficulties.
Little pottery and no metalwork have been found in it, and no
weapons or implements have been found in such a position as to
give them dating value. The only sources of dating evidence are
therefore in the construction, shape, size, etc. of the mound,
and in the character of the burials. Construction. The mound has
a core of overlapping stone slabs, sloping upwards, all directed
towards a common centre and covered by rubble. This is the
normal construction of barrows in the Cotswolds. Shape. The oval
shape of the mound has led to the suggestion that it may be a
long barrow. But the shape may be partly due to its being on a
slope of 1 in 40 ft. Round barrows, when erected on slopes, must
necessarily occupy oval sites, it being impossible to build a
symmetrical circular mound (that is to say, one in which the
angles to the horizontal are equal) without making one side
longer than the other. Mr. L. V. Grinsell, however (Ancient
Burial Mounds of England, p. 84), holds that this may be due to
weathering. The oval shape does not therefore provide reliable
evidence that this is a long barrow as has been suggested. The
slope of the ground is, however, from N.W. to S.E., and the
major axis of the barrow is from S.W. to N.E.. suggesting that
the oval form is not entirely due to the slope or to weathering.
The fact that the long axis of the cist is approximately at
right angles to the major axis of the barrow should also be
Oval shape perhaps due to situation on hill slope, causing
soil-creep. Ex. G. Underwood c. 1946: primary interment of 2
skeletons, fragmentary, in stone cist 4 ft. 3 in. long, implying
that the skeletons must have been crouched; gold circular disk
with cruciform design, 3 b & t arrowheads, 1 ranged arrowhead,
and 12 sherds; secondary interments (4 inhumations?) in N. part
of mound. Part of stone mace-head with cup-shaped hole on each
side, found near N. edge of mound. Type Bi beaker, found 1953,
now in BRIS. WAM 11. 447-52; lii. 270-1