Trip to the River Chelmer – Site of a Lost MEGALITHIC Henge and Neolithic Cursus

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Trip to the River Chelmer – Site of a Lost MEGALITHIC Henge and Neolithic Cursus

Trip to the River Chelmer – Site of a Lost MEGALITHIC Henge and Neolithic Cursus

A big hello everyone and Welcome to our next video, today, Yhana and I have come to explore an area associated with the long forgotten Neolithic period. the Springfield Cursus was constructed in the valley below Springfield Lyons, Bronze Age Causewayed enclosure and just above the river Chelmer flood plain. Yhana and I are currently walking along this flood plain now, as sadly the Springfield Cursus was redeveloped in the 1980’s, the Springfield Cursus, which was still visible in aerial photographs taken during the last century, now lies beneath Chelmer Village, while the wooden circle – an important Henge site that once stood at its east end is buried beneath Asda’s supermarket carpark. The cursus as revealed by air photographs was a rectilinear enclosure 670m long and 40m wide with squared terminals and apparently aligned on the cropmark a large mortuary enclosure. Together these two monuments cut off the neck of a spur of ground just above the Chelmer floodplain and marked by the 20m contour line within a broad loop of the river. The break in slope is not great but may have been significant. Despite the canalisation of the Chelmer in the 18th century and more recent drainage works, the river still floods each winter to the east of Chelmsford in the vicinity of the Cursus. The Springfield Lyons causewayed enclosure would have provided a panoramic view of the monument in the valley below. The Springfield cursus monument was the first to be discovered in Essex, archaeologists were fortunate when they came to excavate the site in 1979 as they found it almost complete.  The ditch that constitutes the very outline of the cursus — averaged between 3-4 feet in depth all round — and was cut into the earth in the neolithic period.  It had small ‘entrances’ at certain points along its longer axis, both on the east and west sides.  The flat ends of the cursus were both ‘closed’, without entrances or breaks of any kind.  Some remains were found scattered at different spots along the course of the ditch: neolithic pottery and flints in both the northern and eastern ditches, but archaeologists were unsure whether these deposits were left at the time the monument was in use, or at a later period — The timber circle or the Henge was found to have consisted of 14 upright wooden posts arranged in a near-complete ring, some 26 metres in diameter.  It seems highly likely that this part of the monument had some ritual or ceremonial function relating to the dead Later excavation work here in 1984 found there to be various other linear and pit-like features within the confines of the monument, and what seemed to be the remains of a barrow beyond its eastern end.

  • Published: 2 July 2021
  • Location: Essex, England
  • Duration: 16:24
  • Photography – Stephen Robert Kuta / Yhana Kuta
  • Written by – Stephen Robert Kuta

Music –

Music Licensed by Epidemic Sound

Trip to the River Chelmer – Site of a Lost MEGALITHIC Henge and Neolithic Cursus

A big hello everyone and Welcome to our next video, today, Yhana and I have come to explore an area associated with the long forgotten Neolithic period. the Springfield Cursus was constructed in the valley below Springfield Lyons, Bronze Age Causewayed enclosure and just above the river Chelmer flood plain. Yhana and I are currently walking along this flood plain now, as sadly the Springfield Cursus was redeveloped in the 1980’s, the Springfield Cursus, which was still visible in aerial photographs taken during the last century, now lies beneath Chelmer Village, while the wooden circle – an important Henge site that once stood at its east end is buried beneath Asda’s supermarket carpark. The cursus as revealed by air photographs was a rectilinear enclosure 670m long and 40m wide with squared terminals and apparently aligned on the cropmark a large mortuary enclosure. Together these two monuments cut off the neck of a spur of ground just above the Chelmer floodplain and marked by the 20m contour line within a broad loop of the river. The break in slope is not great but may have been significant. Despite the canalisation of the Chelmer in the 18th century and more recent drainage works, the river still floods each winter to the east of Chelmsford in the vicinity of the Cursus. The Springfield Lyons causewayed enclosure would have provided a panoramic view of the monument in the valley below. The Springfield cursus monument was the first to be discovered in Essex, archaeologists were fortunate when they came to excavate the site in 1979 as they found it almost complete.  The ditch that constitutes the very outline of the cursus — averaged between 3-4 feet in depth all round — and was cut into the earth in the neolithic period.  It had small ‘entrances’ at certain points along its longer axis, both on the east and west sides.  The flat ends of the cursus were both ‘closed’, without entrances or breaks of any kind.  Some remains were found scattered at different spots along the course of the ditch: neolithic pottery and flints in both the northern and eastern ditches, but archaeologists were unsure whether these deposits were left at the time the monument was in use, or at a later period — The timber circle or the Henge was found to have consisted of 14 upright wooden posts arranged in a near-complete ring, some 26 metres in diameter.  It seems highly likely that this part of the monument had some ritual or ceremonial function relating to the dead Later excavation work here in 1984 found there to be various other linear and pit-like features within the confines of the monument, and what seemed to be the remains of a barrow beyond its eastern end.


Stephen and Yhana - History and Adventure Hunters Almanac - OUT NOW
Stephen and Yhana – History and Adventure Hunters Almanac – OUT NOW
Stephen and Yhana - History and Adventure Hunters Almanac - OUT NOW
Stephen and Yhana – History and Adventure Hunters Almanac – OUT NOW

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