The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Brightwell Barrow

Round Barrow(s)


When looking across to Brightwell Barrow from Wittenham Clumps - or from road and railway whilst travelling south through Oxfordshire - something always tugs at my heart when I set eyes on this lonely outpost.

Brightwell Barrow lies just under a kilometre from Wittenham Clumps, atop a ridge in the middle of a vast field. The only marker of its position is a large tree growing on top of it; this tree adds to the sense of romantic isolation, and enables it to be seen from miles around.

Like Port Meadow Round Hill, I keep meaning to actually walk up to it someday (especially as there's a useful footpath), but in the meantime, I can't help but wonder about the society that built it, and presumably lived at Castle Hill on Wittenham Clumps. It's very easy to stand up there on a blustery day, and imagine a ritual procession walking the exposed ridge to honour their dead ancestor, lying so far from them, and yet so near, given the topography of the area . . . the essence of the ancients is very much in evidence at this Oxfordshire landmark.
treaclechops Posted by treaclechops
31st August 2003ce

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