This is just a quick update about our plans to excavate at Tinkinswood. We won’t be excavating the main chamber as this has already been done under the direction of John Ward in 1914, but there are other features with high archaeological potential in a nearby field.
The mystery arrangement of stones in the field adjacent to Tinkinswood burial chamber, have always been of interest, ever since Cyril Fox and John Ward’s days at the site. They too, did not understand how the mudstone slabs could have fallen naturally in the arrangement found. As Mr. F. J. North, the geologist of the National Museum of Wales at the time describes in 1915, “[I] consider it impossible to explain the positions of these slabs geologically. The prevailing opinion is that they are fallen cromlechs, but it is hardly possible to come to a decision without the aid of the spade” (Archaeologia Cambrensis vol. xv, 6th series, 1915, 256).
It was interesting to come across a letter in the archives, sent in relation to this arrangement of stones, written in 1938 to Mr O’Neill from the H.M Office of Works by Mr Traherne, owner of the estate. I love finding little snippets like this, and they certainly knew how to do business!
Dear Mr O’Neill,
Thank you for your letter of the 5th last. Would it be possible for you to meet me here on the evening of the 11th at 6p.m. and over some sherry discuss the plan.
As part of the Tinkinswood Community Archaeology Project, we will be excavating this area and answering the burning question: ‘is it a fallen burial chamber or not?’. This will be a very exciting opportunity to find out more about the surrounding area at Tinkinswood by broading our understanding of other possible archaeological features close by. Volunteers can still sign up to help, get involved!