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More details for prospective burial chamber buyers

From Western Morning News

Rock musician Nic Potter is selling a Bronze Age burial mound - considered to be of significant national value and one of the largest in Cornwall - on the Internet to the highest bidder.

The four-acre site is the property of London-based Nic, 51, who played bass guitar with top 70s progressive rock band Van der Graaf Generator.

For a number of personal reasons and despite his love of the romance and mystery of the site, which has outstanding views of both the north and south coasts, Nic has put it on the market with a guide price of £150,000.

Nic, who plans to move to France and build his own recording studio to record solo material, said: "The site has always been very inspirational to me.

"I would come up here and suddenly start hearing bits of music which I would use in the band. You have the power of music up there - it's very special.

"But now I live in London and I don't come up here too often, so it's time to sell it and move on."

The barrow itself is made up of two rings of stone. The largest is 11.5 metres and some of the bigger stones are up to 2m wide and 1.22m high. Nic bought the land from his father, Norman Potter, in the mid-1980s for a few thousand pounds.

He said it had been very difficult to put a value on the site as it is unique and although he has set a provisional price, he will consider any offer.

Cornish-based estate agent for Miller Countrywide Nigel Bedford said he had never come across anything like Nic's barrow during 25 years in the job.

"The closest I have come to this is a fogou (an underground chamber with spiritual and ceremonial significance found only in Cornwall) which was on the land of a house I was asked to value at Lamorna, but I've never sold an underground burial chamber," he said.

Although Nic's barrow, one of 2,500 in the county, is marked on many ancient maps, its existence had been more or less forgotten and Nic only uncovered the monument two years ago. He said: "I had always noticed the stones peeping out from the undergrowth but had always stayed away from them thinking they could be a mine shaft or something.

"When I finally cleared all the undergrowth away and called in Cornwall County Council's archaeological unit I was told it was a Grade A monument. The man who came to see it got very excited."

English Heritage - protector of this country's national monuments - has expressed grave concern about the future safety of the 4,000-year-old barrow, which sits on a hilltop in West Cornwall. Inspector of Monuments for English Heritage Ian Morrison said he is powerless to make any moves to protect the monument at the moment but would certainly be considering it for protection in the future.

He said: "We understand the current owner is aware of its significant archaeological value. We can only hope that the next owner respects it as an important part of Cornwall's heritage and that they will not damage it unnecessarily."

Principal archaeologist for Cornwall County Council Steve Hartgroves said: "It's a lovely early Bronze Age barrow. It is the resting place of the cremated remains of a local chief and so a site of ceremonial and ritual significance.

"It has been knocked around a bit and has a number of holes and piles of stones where it has been taken apart. There is also a rectangular structure in the middle of the mound, which could possibly have been a pigsty or shelter.

"I'm not aware of any other site in the country that has been sold because it contains an interesting antiquity and I can't say who would want to buy it. Maybe it will appeal to the American market."

What is almost certain, however, is that anything of financial value in the barrow will have been stolen long ago; its value is purely archaeological.

And because the site is part of an environmentally sensitive area and of national importance for its landscape, wildlife and historic interest there is no chance of anyone getting permission to build on it.

Nic has vowed he will only sell it to someone who will treat it with the same care and respect he has shown.

Full details of the barrow are available on Nic's website
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
27th June 2003ce
Edited 11th August 2013ce

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