Further Reading

Here we list a selection of recent and not so recent publications dealing with aspects of the archaeology of the region. From time to time we will be adding to this list, so keep coming back!

Prehistoric Britain

General introductions to the archaeology of pre-Roman Britain, especially those aimed at the general reader, are a bit thin on the ground at the moment. The most recent account of the period is highly readable but perhaps not ideal for the beginner:

Richard Bradley (2007) The Prehistory of Britain and Ireland (Cambridge University Press).

A little older, hence a little out-of-date, but probably an easier starting point, is:

John Hunter and Ian Ralston (eds) The Archaeology of Britain. An introduction from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Industrial Revolution (Routledge, London).

The Archaeology of Cranborne Chase:

The best introduction is:

Martin Green (2000) A Landscape Revealed: 10,000 Years on a Chalkland Farm (Tempus, Stroud).

Also well worth looking at, and packed with detail, is:

Andrew Lawson (2007) Chalkland: an archaeology of Stonehenge and its region (The Hobnob Press, East Knoyle).

Recent excavations of prehistoric sites on Cranborne Chase are reported on in detail in:

John Barrett, Richard Bradley & Martin Green (1991) Landscape, Monuments and Society: The Prehistory of Cranborne Chase (Cambridge University Press) [NB this has recently been reprinted]

And its companion volume, which deals mainly with the finds from the excavations:

John Barrett, Richard Bradley and Melanie Hall (1991) Papers on the Prehistoric Archaeology of Cranborne Chase (Oxbow Books).

The most recent excavations are described in:

Charles French, Helen Lewis, Michael J Allen, Martin Green, Rob Scaife & Julie Gardiner (2007) Prehistoric Landscape Development and Human Impact in the Upper Allen Valley, Cranborne Chase, Dorset (McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge).

RCHME survey – both on the ground and from the air – is presented in:

H.C. Bowen (1990) The Archaeology of Bokerley Dyke (RCHME/HMSO, London).

As for local history, the obvious staring point is

E.H. Lane Poole (1976) Damerham and Martin. A study in local history (Compton Russel Ltd, Tisbury).

Completed in 1953, it is very much of its time, but is not lacking in detail. Also highly recommended is

WH Hudson (1910) A Shepherd’s Life.

This has been republished many times over the years, with some interesting illustrated editions among the versions available. Hudson wrote about Martin (referred to in the book as ‘Winterbourne Bishop) and its surroundings using his own observations plus the recollections of locals, notably a shepherd named in the book as ‘Caleb Bawcombe’.

Neolithic Long Barrows

Three recent books complement each other nicely – two deals with the monuments themselves, the other with the evidence they contain for the people who built them and were buried within them:

David Field (2006) Earthen Long Barrows: The Earliest Monuments in the British Isles (Tempus, Stroud).

Timothy Darvill (2004) Long Barrows of the Cotswolds and Surrounding Areas (Tempus, Stroud).

Martin Smith & Megan Brickley (2009) People of the Long Barrows: Life, Death and Burial in the Earlier Neolithic (Tempus, Stroud).

For the Damerham area itself, the following is recommended but has been out of print for some time:

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (1979) Long Barrows of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (HMSO, London).

Neolithic Enclosures

There is plenty to choose from, although some of the best books are beginning to show their age. For the earliest Neolithic enclosures, see:

Alastair Oswald, Carolyn Dyer and Martyn Barber (2001) The Creation of Monuments: Neolithic Causewayed Enclosures in the British Isles (English Heritage, Swindon)

For the later Neolithic enclosures, recent books include:

Jan Harding (2003) Henge Monuments of the British Isles (Tempus, Stroud)

Mike Pitts (2000) Hengeworld: life in Britain 2000BC as revealed by the latest discoveries… (Century, London) [NB there is a more recent paperback version of this].

Closely related to henge-type monuments are circles of stone and/or timber. The best introduction to these is:

Alex Gibson (1998) Stonehenge & Timber Circles (Tempus, Stroud).

Round Barrows

A good, wide-ranging introduction to Bronze Age burial mounds (and one which also covers the earlier long barrows too) is:

Ann Woodward (2000) British Barrows: A Matter of Life and Death (Tempus, Stroud).


A useful introduction to the varieties geophysical survey and their uses within archaeology. However, it has been suggested that the explanations are not quite as lucid as the back-cover blurb suggest.

C Gaffney & J Gater (2003) Revealing The Buried Past: Geophysics for Archaeologists (Tempus, Stroud)

Aerial Photography

The best introduction is still

David R Wilson (2000) Air Photo Interpretation for Archaeologists (2nd edition: Tempus, Stroud)

Two more recent books bring aspects of the story a little more up to date:

Kenny Brophy and Dave Cowley (eds) (2005) From The Air. Understanding aerial archaeology (Tempus, Stroud)

Jessica Mills and Rog Palmer (eds) (2007) Populating Clay Landscapes (Tempus, Stroud)