2000 – 550 BC – Territories are Established
The chalk downs of Wiltshire were the thriving centre of the Bronze-age culture; large monuments such as Avebury and Stonehenge are well known. But our area was not without its sites; albeit on a rather smaller scale!
Bronze Age evidence in the parish
The Bronze Age objects in our area are generally found on higher ground – especially along the ridges. By contrast, the evidence for the highest ground of the area shows no sign of arable farming. It appears that people lived and farmed along the Thames and the lower reaches of the major tributaries.
The photograph shows the group of four barrows at West End on Brentmoor Heath as they appeared in the 1930s.
Early Bronze-age peoples cremated their dead and buried them in round barrows. In our area, Bronze Age type tumuli/barrows are widespread – notably near Sunningdale, Longcross and West End – see map.
It was becoming a more dangerous world. It is believed that the local hillforts were started in the late Bronze Age. See the page on Iron-age Chobham for more information about these hillforts. Clear indications of a growing military elite come from impressive cavalry swords and shields which also reveal the intimidating nature of the horse-riding Bronze Age warriors.
Locally it is possible that the ‘tumuli’ – the round barrows set on ridges may have been part of a local tribal territorial system. It is noticeable that the barrows are located along the boundaries of the further reaches of Chobham.