A FOCUS OF A RITUAL LANDSCAPE
STREET | PONTEFRACT
1863 OPENING OF THE
Henge is the premier early prehistoric ceremonial monument in West
Yorkshire. A focus of a ritual landscape during the Neolithic
period, it is a site of national importance and its environmental
remains have helped to build up a picture of the local ecology almost
4,000 years ago.
period spanned the years c.4000 to c750 BC but it was between the years
c.4000 to c.1500 BC when circular henge monuments began to appear.
Stonehenge in Wiltshire is the most famous of these.
The area was
developed by the Celts during the Iron Age and Roman Occupation period and
their remains abut the earlier site. Air photography has revealed a
large oval enclosure about 113 x 145 metres within the Celtic zone.
excavation in the early 1990's uncovered what is believed to be an Iron
Age sword scabbard dating from the 3rd Century BC. It had been
deliberately bent and broken which was a common practice when making
votive offerings. The scabbard has now been donated to the British Museum for display.
The site was
later used as an Anglo Saxon burial ground and was only lost as a sacred
site during the Mediaeval period.
curiosity and the idea of concealed treasures contributed to its
mutilation during the early part of the nineteenth century. An
attempt by the then occupant of the field, Mr. Hall, to remove it
altogether in 1811 was abandoned after the discovery of many human
bones. The exhumed bones were removed to the neighbouring Church
yard of Ferry Fryston. In later years, the construction of
Ferrybridge 'C' Power Station destroyed a large area of the henge along
with other relics of our earlier history.
as these Sepulchral mounds are also known, was opened in 1863 and in his
book 'History of Knottingley' published in 1871, C. Forrest gives a descriptive
account of the excavation and findings.
To learn more
about this important site, please read the accompanying literature which
was supplied to us by William Dobson, together with photographs of the
Ferrybridge Henge News
The following letters from the West Yorkshire Archaeology Service and the British
Museum, give details surrounding the discovery of the scabbard and its
donation to the British Museum.
Documents giving details of the
discovery of the scabbard and its donation to the British Museum.
1863 OPENING OF THE