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WILLIE HOWE

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A very large round barrow still extant as an earthwork mound 7.5 metres high (15 metres according to the scheduled description) and up to 50 metres across, surrounded by a ditch visible as a surface depression 20 metres wide and up to 1.5 metres deep. The mound has been dug into on two occasions, the first in 1857 by Lord Londesborough when nothing deemed noteworthy was found. It was re-excavated by Greenwell in 1887. Among his discoveries was a slab of stone bearing an inscription commemmorating the previous excavation. At the centre, beneath the mound, Greenwell found what he described as an oval grave, measuring 4 feet by 2 feet 8 inches, and 12 feet 4 inches deep, filled with chalk and earth throughout, though Greenwell was able to discern a sequence of fills. At the bottom was a further, smaller pit 1 foot 4 inches by 11 inches, and 1 foot deep. The only finds from anywhere in the fill the pit or shaft were 4 fragments of animal bone, plus five "chippings and a flake of flint". The lack of human remains and the absence of any indication of previous disturbance puzzled Greenwell, who speculated that the site may have been a "cenotaph". The access ramp constructed to facilitate Greenwell's excavations is still visible as an earthwork. A coin of Constantine was reportedly found on the top of the mound in circa 1930. It has also been suggested that the mound was used as a Thing, or meeting place, during the Early Medieval period. Some Mesolithic flints are provenanced to "Willy Howe", but it is presumed that they were found in the vicinity of the mound, rather than from the mound itself.

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