Marden Henge Model, A Curious Aside

MardenModelWHM 2

photo by Pete Glastonbury (yes, again!), with permission

This is not a Stonehenge replica. It’s not an Avebury replica. Marden Henge is, or perhaps was is the more appropriate verb here,  an irregular henge monument (with no stones in this case. See the definition of a henge monument here) in Wiltshire, located about halfway between Stonehenge and Avebury. It enclosed an even larger area than Avebury and had within it two mounds, one that was called Hatfield Barrow was in some ways similar to Silbury Hill, and was “scandalously destroyed.” (see The Modern Antiquarian page for Marden Henge.)

The Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes has this model and was kind enough to present it so that it could be photographed for Clonehenge. Thank you. We urge readers to visit them and give them money. We’re sure they would be happy with just your petrol money. Walking is healthy, you know!

But back to Marden Henge. Wikipedia says: “Two remarkable tumuli formerly were in the neighbourhood, 240 feet in circuit, and 40 feet high; and are supposed, by some writers, to mark the scene of Ethelred’s defeat by the Danes in 871; but whether they were sepulchral barrows or the earthwork of an ancient British temple, is an open question.” Evidence suggests that wooden structure stood on top of the barrow. In the picture above, “on top of the Hatfield barrow is a model of Marden church to give you a sense of scale.” (from P. Glastonbury)

The whole thing reminds us very much of some of the irregular mound enclosures of Ohio. What was the use of these things, that they would arise independently on both sides of the Atlantic?

At any rate, records like this model take on increased importance when the thing being depicted has been destroyed or all but destroyed. We include it here because of that significance and, well, because someone sent it in. We depend on you, Alert Readers, to provide replica photos, because, frankly, we are growing lazy about spending long nights with Google searching every conceivable misspelling of Stonhedge.

We are grateful  to those who have been stepping up!

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