Bristol and Avon Archaeological Society

Mount Pleasant, Dorchester and other Mega-henges: new chronologies and ideas

On Wednesday January 12, 2022
Susan Greaney, University of Cardiff

PLEASE NOTE:  latest Covid information:

As a consequence of the deteriorating Covid situation we have very reluctantly  decided to postpone the above talk.  We are really sorry to do this, but we feel this is a prudent measure given the circumstances.  The talk will be rearranged once we establish a clearer picture of an improving Covid outlook.

The planned talks from February onwards will kept under constant review and updates will be issued as necessary.  The Committee wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year and, please, stay safe.


Located just to the east of Dorchester in Dorset, the enormous and elaborate henge of Mount Pleasant was excavated in 1970-1 by Geoffrey Wainwright.  Until recently, our understanding of the site has been based on these excavations and the dating available at the time.  Now, a new research project has obtained radiocarbon dates from samples of antler picks, charcoal and human remains held in the Dorset County Museum and has been able to build a brand-new chronology for the monument.  The henge and its various components – a palisaded (fenced) enclosure, a concentric timber monument and the great mound of Conquer Barrow – can all now be placed in the latest Neolithic, a time of great change in southern Britain.  This talk will discuss the results of the research project, explore the current understanding of the Dorchester area in the Neolithic period, and explore the implications for thinking about mega-henges across Britain.