Tenants Hill forms the western end of a chalk ridge, which is part of the South Dorset Ridgeway. The site overlooks the valley of the River Bride to the north and has views of the coastline between Bridport and Lyme Regis to the west. It is impossible to access by car today although ancient footpaths traverse the site, including the South Dorset Old Stones Way.
The landscape is full of prehistoric monuments, our excavation is next to Kingston Russell Stone Circle, the Grey Mare and Her Colts chambered long barrow is a short walk along the ridge and there are numerous burial mounds scattered throughout the fields. The landscape is also rich with later archaeology- medieval lynchets and field boundaries can be seen in nearby pastures.
Our excavation has uncovered a possible 3500 year old settlement very close to the stone circle. This is unusual because it is normally assumed that ritual and domestic spaces occupy different places! We hope to investigate further to confirm if it is a settlement and to explore how the settlement and stone circle relate to each other.
For more information about our research see our recent publications and reports: