Scroll Trench, Stonehenge

Scroll Trench, Stonehenge

Posted in the Archaeology Forum

Garry Denke

Southlake, TX

#1 Jan 27, 2013

Scroll Trench, also called Arc Trench, is a 25 ft (7.6m) long by 9 ft (2.7m) wide curved cutting into the Late Cretaceous (Santonian Age) Seaford Chalk formation at Stonehenge in England. Located within the (southern) Avenue, it begins as a shallow disturbance over Stonehole B (WA 3606) increasing in depth east-northeast as it scrolls-arcs to the East deeper, its final depth being unknown. This broad feature cuts perpendicular through Heelstone Ditch whose segment is missing there in its curved path towards Stonehole 96 (WA 163), the Heelstone. It is exceedingly deep (6 ft, 1.8m) where it crosses just East passed the missing segment of Heelstone Ditch (average depth: 4 ft, 1.2m). Entirely cut away is Heelstone Ditch's lower-half fill of Early Carboniferous (Arundian Age) High Tor Limestone and its upper-half fill of silted-in periglacial cryoturbated chalk. Scroll Trench's backfill soil is a mixture of both lithologies and stone chips of all Stonehenge period varieties, indicating it postdates their occurrences. Stratigraphic sequence runs Scroll Trench - Stonehole 97 - Heelstone Ditch -(southern) Avenue Bank, from most recent to earliest. Lt-Col William Hawley found Scroll Trench in his "Excavations at Stonehenge during the season of 1923";

"I did not follow the course of it up to the Helestone, as I should like to have done, for I avoided going nearer to it than 10 ft., fearing to disturb its stability (the depth being unknown)" - "A satisfactory examination would not be possible without permission and assistance from the Office of Works." (page 25)

Scroll Trench, eastward from Heelstone Ditch to the Heelstone, remains unexcavated to this day. The feature was dated by Office of Works' draughtsman Robert Newall as 7th-6th century BC, with an electrum stater coin. Hawley sought permission to fully examine it satisfactorily, and he sought assistance in stabilising Heelstone while investigating it, but neither were granted. Office of Works, now Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Secretary): Jeremy Hunt; National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty (Board of Trustees): Simon Jenkins, Sir Laurie Magnus Bt, Patrick Casement, Sir Crispin Davis, Richard Farrant, Sir Edward Greenwell, Charles Gurassa, Nichola Johnson, Sir Mark Jones, Adrian Phillips, Michael Quicke, Mary Villiers; Historic Building and Monuments Commission for England (Chair): Baroness Kay Andrews; (Commissioners): Lynda Addison, Maria Adebowale, Joyce Bridges, Manish Chande, Sir Barry Cunliffe, David Fursdon, Ronald Hutton, Jane Kennedy, John Walker, Elizabeth Williamson; (Chief Executive): Simon Thurley; (Executive Directors): Mark Pemberton, Edward Impey, Deborah Lamb, Keith Harrison; not interested in obtaining a satisfactory examination.

Heelstone Hound

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