Salmonsbury Camp, Greystones Farm, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire: Salmonsbury Camp Scheduled Monument Interpretation Project

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, 2006

Data copyright © Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust unless otherwise stated


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Rosie Kelsall
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust
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Introduction

Salmonsbury Camp is a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM 32392) owned by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. Its purchase in 2003 was grant aided by English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund and it forms a large part of the Trust's holding at Greystones Farm, on the outskirts of the busy tourist town of Bourton-on-the-Water, in the north of the Cotswolds AONB.

The current project, funded by the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund, set out to research the existing information on Salmonsbury Camp and its gravel quarries to identify ‘stories’ upon which the interpretation of the site could be based. These ‘stories’ have been used to create a comprehensive colour leaflet which includes a circular walk taking in both the ancient monument and the gravel extraction site. In addition a web page has been constructed which incorporates the leaflet, enabling on line access for the armchair archaeologist and interested reader.

Three interpretation panels have been produced, two (identical) have been placed at strategic locations where the link between the archaeology and the damage caused to it by gravel extraction are clear, and at points where the majority of walkers access the site. These two boards are mounted on typical Cotswold stone wall plinths. The third smaller board makes clear the link between the gravel extraction and the loss of part of the archaeological site, and is located where the path leaves the monument and enters the extraction lakes. This on–site permanent interpretation is available to all visitors to the site and will help to engender a sense of understanding of the historic importance of the site, and to improve knowledge of the underlying archaeology and its future conservation.

Artists reconstruction of the Neolithic causewayed enclosure at Salmonsbury Camp

In order for visitors to the farm to be able to easily access the farm there has been work to improve and upgrade the paths, both public right of way and permissive footpaths, through simple way–marking and the provision of new easy access gates and the replacement of old stiles. Already walkers and visitors to the site have commented on these improvements.

Finally a length of board walk has been installed through an area of wet woodland, which enables the visitor to pass through a particularly muddy area with much greater ease. This innovative design has been installed without the need for any invasive ground disturbance to the ancient monument as the whole structure is rasied on recycled tyres.

The project was celebrated on the 26th October when the project funders and other invited guests joined members of the public for lunch and guided walks around the site.