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Winscombe Archaeology

Earth circles


Two probable earth circles have been identified. The larger (northern) circle, with a diameter of about 220m, has its centre at GR 41505857. The northern part of this feature can be partly traced as curving field boundaries, but the southern arc of the circle is clearly visible as a feature on a resistivity survey which indicates a ditch about 5m wide.


A resistivity section of the field known as Great Wortice.  An arc of the larger circle can be seen below the modern dividing field boundary. Part of the smaller circle has been incorporated into the parish boundary ditch to the south. The linear feature crossing diagonally through the upper part of field is almost certainly geological in nature, although it has the appearance of a very large long barrow.




A resistivity ‘section’ of the ditch  of the larger circle shows it now to be about 5m wide and over 1m deep but it must once have been considerably deeper before soil erosion. A probable pit can be seen south of the ditch section which may be similar to the pits identified in the article referring to the southern, smaller, earth circle.  Great  Wortice, (now called 15 Acres) Broadleaze Farm, Banwell, Somerset.  Excavation of a pit … on the Winscombe/Banwell parish boundary [published CBA south-West Journal 21 June 2008] reprinted below.

A resistivity ‘section’ from south (L) to north across the southern part of the ditch of the larger circle. This suggests that the ditch at this point is about 6m wide and is over 1m in depth. There may be a pit outside the ditch 4m from the left (see text). The right of the section (north) may show an internal bank, seen as rising contour levels. The feature is not visible on the surface.