The Drayton 'cursus'. The red parallel lines are the ditches of the cursus monument.

Drayton ‘Cursus’

Excavations of the ‘Drayton cursus’, an enigmatic Neolithic monument, were carried out AAAHS and Oxford Archaeology ahead of gravel quarrying south of Abingdon the 1980s.

‘Cursuses’ (which take their name from a Latin word meaning a race-track) consist of a pair of parallel ditches, which can run across the landscape for many kilometres. Their function is unknown, but they may have been used for processions or other ceremonies.

The Drayton cursus runs from south-east of Drayton village towards Abingdon. Its northern end has not been located, but the monument was at least 1.5 kilometres long.

Other things found during these excavations included a Roman trackway and field boundaries, and an early Saxon building.


Published Reference: R. Ainslie and J. Wallis (1987), 'Excavations on the Cursus at Drayton. Oxon', Oxoniensia 52, 1-9