Page:Horse shoes and horse shoeing.djvu/275

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247
BECKHAMPTON RELICS.

over calkins are particularly conspicuous. The other (fig. 83) is of larger size and more circular in shape, and shows a nail-head worn down to the surface of the shoe.

Horse shoes and horse shoeing page275a.jpg Horse shoes and horse shoeing page275b.jpg
fig. 82 fig. 83

Beckhampton, we must remember, is near the Druidical circle or temple of Abury, the western avenue of that structure extending towards this village; and that the stupendous mound of Silbury is within the plan of Abury, and may have been a component part of the temple. It is somewhat remarkable that this portion of Wiltshire, so famous for its ancient British monuments, should furnish such a number of these primitive horse-shoes.

Three-fourths of a shoe, in excellent preservation, and evidently of the same period, was found at Springhead, near Gravesend, Kent, some years ago, and is now in the possession of Mr Sylvester of that place. It was found imbedded in compact chalk, and, from its appearance, has been scarcely worn; it had broken through at one of the nail-holes soon after being fastened on the hoof. From the situation of this relic, and the accompanying remains, there can scarcely be a doubt as to its belonging to the Roman, or even pre-Roman, period. Its length