History – Iron Age

700 BC to 43 AD

Currently, there is little evidence of Iron Age activity within the parish. This is probably due to a typical lack of evidence for Iron Age sites, the small time frame (less than 750 years) and because no one has yet looked for this specific period.

WJ Arkell in “A Regional Essay” suggests that the name Burton Grove Farm means fortified farm and that the site is likely to have a prehistoric origin. There is a spring there, and they are usually of special significance to ancient peoples.

Given the great deal of Iron Age activity surrounding South Marston, (for instance, the Ridgeway has numerous Iron Age forts along it) it is likely that Iron Age farms would have been present, at least on the higher ground away from the current village centre.

There is some evidence for this.

To the west of the village centre, Middle Iron Age features have been found. More detail can be found here

Whilst close to there, to the north west of the village centre, there is evidence of activity dated to the Late Iron Age/early Roman period. More detail can be found here.

Finally, iron stone has been fo und to the north of the village centre, and in a few other areas. A quarry exists to the north of the village that may have been used for the extraction of iron stone. As yet, we do not know when the quarry was in use, or what was taken from it.

Iron StoneThe photo’ shows a variety of samples of iron stone found near the quarry.

As a guide to scale, the squarish piece (left most in the middle row) is approximately 5cm x 5cm and weighs 120g. The total weight of these pieces is 1170g. These samples are all poor quality, containing very little iron, but they may have been discarded for this reason.

History – Bronze Age

2,300 BC to 700 BC

Hunter-gatherers smelted bronze for tools &; formed farming settlements.

Archaeological Data Service shows finds around South Marston as people settled in the fertile River valleys below the Ridgeway.

There is a possible Bronze Age round barrow (or possibly a Medieval motte) in the north of the parish: Source

There is another possible Bronze Age round barrow to the south of the parish: Source

Items Found:

Bronze Age scraper This Bronze Age Scraper was found in 2007 in a field to the north of the village centre.

It measures 5cm x 3cm.

History – Prehistoric and Stone Age

During the Jurassic period (about 200 million years ago to 140 million years ago), South Marston was beneath a warm shallow sea. During this time the Corallian Beds were deposited. Unsurprisingly this means that there are vast deposits of fossil coral beneath the village. However, most of it is covered by Kimmeridge clay. This was deposited towards the end of the Jurassic when the sea became deeper.
The pictures below show typical Corallian fossils found in the area:
Two views of an ammonite fragment.
Two small ammonites, some belemnite fragments and some bivalves.
A large coral and a close-up to show the detail.
A selection of coral pieces.
The bivalves are similar to Palaeonucula calliope. Others fossils have been found including a spiral shell similar to Anchura pennata. Iron stone is also evident in places.
Next time you’re digging in the garden take care, the remains of aquatic dinosaurs have been found in the Kimmeridge clay of Swindon.

During the Jurassic period (about 200 million years ago to 140 million years ago), South Marston was beneath a warm shallow sea. During this time the Corallian Beds were deposited. Unsurprisingly this means that there are vast deposits of fossil coral beneath the village. However, most of it is covered by Kimmeridge clay. This was deposited towards the end of the Jurassic when the sea became deeper.

The pictures below show typical Corallian fossils found in the area:

  • Two views of an ammonite fragment.
  • Two small ammonites, some belemnite fragments and some bivalves.
  • A large coral and a close-up to show the detail.
  • A selection of coral pieces.

The bivalves are similar to Palaeonucula calliope. Others fossils have been found including a spiral shell similar to Anchura pennata. Iron stone is also evident in places.

Next time you’re digging in the garden take care, the remains of aquatic dinosaurs have been found in the Kimmeridge clay of Swindon.

Sources and links

There are many good Internet sources to be found, including:

The Jurassic geology of Great Britain:http://www.soton.ac.uk/~imw/Geology-Britain.htm

Search for “Midvale Ridge”: http://www.swindon.gov.uk/landscape_spg__may_05_.pdf

Useful geology maps: http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/east_wiltshire_landscape_character_assessment_part_1_maps_-_fig.2_geology.pdf

The British Geological Survey at: http://www.bgs.ac.uk/education/timeline/entertimeline.html

Search for “South Marston”: http://www.redorbit.com/




Stone Age

500,000 BC to 2,300 BC

The Ridgeway, three miles to the south of South Marston, was a major route for nomadic tribes of hunter-gatherers who used stone & bone for tools & weapons.

Friendly Club Outing – August 2009

Tuesday 11th August 2009

The day trip to Buckingham Palace went well. We arrived early and were allowed in before our allotted time. This proved useful as we were allowed to move through the Palace at our own individual pace. The audio guide gave you the opportunity to choose as much information as you wanted to learn about the exhibits. We stopped at Hampton Court on the return journey but did not have time to loose anyone in the maze.

Friendly Club Bucklers Hard -2009

Tuesday 23rd June 2009

Our outing to Bucklers Hard, a themed 18th Century Village, was warm and sunny and an interesting day. The history museum of Bucklers Hard was very interesting. The outward journey took us through the New Forest. We spent a pleasant 30 minutes on a boat cruise on the Beaulieu River after which we roamed around the village and had refreshments. On the return trip we called at Lyndhurst in the centre of the New Forest.

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