If any members have not yet renewed (due by 1st. April 04) their membership subscription I would appreciate it if they would do so as soon as possible so that our accounts can be finalised by the end of May 04, otherwise Graham will not send Newsletters after June.
Della Day. Membership Secretary.
2 Wigbeth Cottage, Horton, Dorset, BH21 7JJ

Les Baker, one of our founder members, is going in to hospital on 7th June for a cataract operation. We wish him a successful operation and a very speedy recovery.

At our last evening lecture of the season Trevor Steptoe, who is chairman of the AVAS Group, talked to us about Pyrolithic Technology. This is the study of prehistoric stone burning practices, and covers such enigmatic artefacts as burnt mounds, which have never been very well explained. Trevor has made this his own specialised archaeological interest, and has researched it for many years. He has travelled widely to find and catalogue examples of ‘boiling troughs’ which, it is postulated, were probably used to cook large quantities of food after a large, successful hunt. These sites are usually recognisable by being near a small water course, and having a crescent-shaped stack of stones surrounding a working area. Stones heated in a nearby fire are plunged into the trough and very effectively bring it to, and then keep it at, boiling point. The New Forest is very rich in these boiling trough sites. Trevor has undertaken extensive practical archaeological research and investigated the characteristics of different types of stone and use of different temperatures. This work has been potentially hazardous at some stages, as the stones can explode violently when dropped in the water!

We thank Trevor for a very interesting and expertly given lecture which introduced most of us to to a very new subject in archaeology.

Sun 23 May: Circular Walk from Corfe Castle to Ulwell and back, with Mike Fryatt
11 members plus 2 friends of Mike joined him on a beautiful sunny day for a walk which took us east from Corfe Castle along the ridge of the Purbecks. There were glorious views of Poole Harbour to the North as we headed towards Nine Barrow Down where Mike gave us details of the history of the barrows. The cemetery itself consists of one Neolithic long barrow and 8 Bronze Age round barrows. Two of the round barrows have clearly visible ditches. The round barrows are spread in a line along the crest of the hill running west to east, seemingly getting larger the further east you go. The long barrow is located at the east end.

The views were as amazing as the earthworks: Poole harbour, Wareham, Poole and Bournemouth, to the north, Swanage and most of Purbeck to the south. After lunch, we headed back towards Corfe Castle on a lower route below the ridge. We then enjoyed afternoon tea in the National Trust tearoom garden which looks out at the majestic ruin of the castle. Many thanks to Mike for an enjoyable walk. Thanks also to Barry Perratt who answered many questions on butterflies, flowers, beetles and trees. I think we will have to rename the society the East Dorset Naturalists Society!
Peter Walker

Dorset Archaeological Days

There are a 22 varied archaeological day visits and walks in Dorset from June through to October, which are being organised by Dorset County Council as part of ‘National Archaeology Days’. These are led by many well known local archaeologists such as Bill Putnam, Lillian Ladle, Peter Woodward and Trevor Steptoe, to name but a few. There is a small charge for some of these walks, and for others pre-booking is advisable. Contact Claire Pinder at for a leaflet or more details.

Sun 20 June - Walk around Woodlands, Horton and Chalbury with Peter Walker
We will visit Chalbury Church (box pews) and Horton Church. An easy approx. 7 miles walk. Bring a picnic lunch. Any queries please contact Peter on 01425 471326 or email him at peterdwalker

Sun 18 July – Walk around Wimborne St. Giles with Len Norris
A leisurely stroll of about 5¼ miles around Wimborne St. Giles, taking in the Ackling Dyke and Gussage Down. Views over Martin Down. Bring a picnic lunch and boots if wet. Ring Len on 01202 625889 with any questions or if weather doubtful.


The dates for EDAS events are underlined. The monthly evening lectures start at 7.30 pm.
Walks and field visits usually meet at 10.30 am at the published Grid Reference. Ring the leader if the weather is doubtful or if more details are required.

Sun 20 Jun Walk with Peter Walker. More details later.
Sat 3 Jul EDAS Summer Barbecue, organised by Hadyn and Wendie Everall and hosted by Martin and Karen Green at Down Farm. Click here for more details and an application form.
Sun 18 Jul Walk with Len Norris. More details later.
Sun 22 Aug Walk around Abbotsbury with Karen Brown. Click here for more details.
Wed 8 Sep In our first lecture of the seaon, Martin Papworth of the National Trust talks about ‘The Archaeology of Golden Cap’.
Sun 26 Sep Walk with Steve Smith. More details later.