In the Farley Mount Country Park is a small mound which has an important history.

There is a map of the Hursley area, drawn by a mapmaker called Ralph Treswell for the new owners, the Hoby family in 1588. On this map the mound is marked with two names; the second is difficult to read and is Rough.

Do any of the local inhabitants know what this name is?

However, the first name is clear and is 'Robin hudes butt'.

There is probably no real connection with Robin Hood - many places were named after Robin Hood from the 16th century on.

The term 'butt' was used because mounds like this were used to place archery targets on when practising.

All men were supposed to have bows and to practise regularly from the 13th century.

It is possible that this site was used for archery practice but it is remote from most settlements.

It seems more likely that it was just a nick name for a mound that looked a little like an archery butt.

There is no doubt that the mound is, in fact, a prehistoric burial mound.

It was a known place in the landscape at least from Saxon times when it marked the meeting place of several estates/parishes, Merdon (Hursley), Farley Chamberlayne and Sparshott, with Ashley very close as well.

It seems likely that the mound is mentioned in the boundary points of the Saxon charter of 909AD for the large Chilcomb estate as the place called 'þære ealdan cwealmstowe' which means 'the old execution place'.

A site like this, on the boundary of several parishes and very close to the line of a Roman road, (from Winchester to Old Sarum) was often chosen as an execution place in Saxon times although it seems this one had gone out of use by 909AD.

The east-west boundary follows the line of the Roman road except at this point where it deviates 200 metres to the south to meet the Hursley boundary at Robin Hood's Butt.

The significance of Robin Hood's Butt declined as the high point of Farley Mount about a kilometre to the west become important as a beacon site which was used at the time of the Armada.

Then in the 18th century Paulet St John, the 3rd Earl of Bolingbroke, erected a monument there to his horse.

The inscription reads: "Underneath lies buried a horse, the property of Paulet St. John Esq, that in the month of September 1733 leaped into a chalk pit twenty-five feet deep a foxhunting with his master on his back and in October 1734 he won the Hunters Plate on Worthy Downs and was rode by his owner and was entered in the name of Beware Chalk Pit".

The maps and guides displayed at Farley Mount Country Park give a great deal of information about the wildlife and the monument and mark the old barrow but do not name it either as an execution site or by the name of Robin Hood's Butt.