Hogs Back Barrow

The CROOKSBURY LINE at around 232 degrees would seem to be aligned to the mid-winter sunset.  At just over 7 Druid Miles (DM) the line passes through St Bartholomew’s Church at Wanborough.  At just over 8 DM, and on the extremity of visibility, lies the site of the Hog’s Back Barrow on a high ridge which appears to be the aiming point for the midwinter sunset.  The line then passes close by Hillbury Hillfort, but it is another alignment which passes through the fort itself and then carries on to Culverswell Barrow.  Although precisely on the line it is slightly beyond the 12 DM point at the crest of the hill.  Carrying on down the hill the alignment terminates between two very close tumuli known as Crooksbury Barrows.  Nothing has so far been found beyond this point.

Plan of Hogs Back Barrow

232_8+ Hogs Back Barrow


Hog’s Back Barrow Ancient Monument site between the white arrow and right-hand kerb.

Hogs Back Barrow

Hog’s Back Barrow crossing of alignments site.  The layby is next to the blue road sign on the right.

In June 2014 I visited the site of the Hog’s Back Barrow. The Hog’s Back is a long chalk ridge beginning in the outskirts of Guildford and ending a couple of miles short of Farnham.  The ridge runs east to west with panoramic views to the north and south. In the office I had made note of two sets of coordinates with adjusted values; the position is given by the Ordnance Survey as an Ancient Monument symbol and the point on the line where the FROWSBURY LINE intersected – this point is twenty metres to the east of the symbol.  There is an interchange roughly halfway along where the road to Wanborough passes beneath the dual carriageway, known locally as the Puttenham crossroads.  Just beyond this point on the westbound carriageway is a large layby and cafe.  Using the handheld GPS I located the position of the Ancient Monument symbol on the tarmac on the south edge of the slip road exiting the layby. (See top photograph). The coordinates for the point on the overall pattern of alignments lies some 20m to the south east of the symbol and was reached by crossing a low bank and through fairly dense growth into open grassland bordered by a post and rail fence. (See photograph above). The actual point was about a metre south of this fence.  The rough grass here showed no sign of any change in ground levels but this area needs to be looked at in the winter with minimum growth.  The position on the alignment doesn’t make much sense at this point and seems more likely to be nearer the heavily wooded central reservation.  This would give excellent sightlines in both directions.  Although the Druid Mile does not appear in the pattern here it could be of interest that the barrow and Wanborough Church are one DM apart if an element of slope correction is taken into account – the difference in elevation being quite considerable.  Hillbury Fort has some interest but it is not until Culverswell Barrow where we find the 12 DM point is only the width of the barrow away.

View from field edge near Hogs Back Barrow looking over Wanborough towards Whitmoor.


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