Wandlebury Ring is a circular ditch and bank ringed fort dating from around the 5th Centrury BC now surrounded beautiful woodland and part of the Wandlebury Park recreational area.
The fort area has been altered in more recent times with additions which formed part of the historic Wandlebury House estate.
The large defensive ditch, flanked by earth banks that surrounds Wandlebury, marking the perimeter of the ancient fort, is now a pleasant circular walk through woodland.
There is a small bridge crossing the banks leading to Wandlebury House, and also a small modern structure protecting a bat roost within an interesting tunnel discovered by archaeologists that looks contemporary with the Wandlebury estate. Details are on the Wandlebury House page. The Gogmagog Giants
There is mention in a few historic texts of giant chalk figures “The Gogmagog Giants” on the bank of Wandlebury ring and it is in this field that T.C. Lethbridge attempted to locate and excavate in the 1950’s.
His method was to systematically drive a heavy iron rod into the ground, looking for areas where the rod penetrated deeper. He was certain this indicated areas previously carved out to form an outline in the chalk. It was an epic task that seemed to ascertain an outline of a scene depicting three figures together with a chariot. The image that Lethbridge produced is striking and appears convincing, however apparently ‘modern’ archaeologists have serious doubts about its authenticity. It is now supposed that Lethbridge imagined the scene from random shapes left in the chalk by erosion of water action below the soil.
If the texts are to be considered credible we must assume that there were giant hill figures in the vicinity.
“The Cambridge Preservation Society has allowed three
different methods of research to be used on the area of
Lethbridge’s figures. By using electrical impulses the area
was checked for earth disturbance: none was found in any of
the investigations. The Society’s Warden has also researched
the figure: Lethbridge states that a figure was known on the
site in recent times and could be seen from Sawston in 1850
but an 1812 map indicates that trees would have blocked any
view from that side, and a tree ring count shows that-the
trees would have been planted around 1795.
Old estate workers can remember the general area of the
figure being under the plough, and excavation shows plough
scratch marks through the figure at a depth of seven to ten
inches, deeper than details such as eyes, nose, hair and
limbs. One deep hole closely corresponds to holes left after
trees have been uprooted.”
Quote from Cambridge Preservation Society