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

Port Meadow Round Hill

Round Barrow(s)


Just over a month later, and happened to be near the Round Hill again under a burning hot August sun; so thought I'd pay it a visit, now we're acquainted. What a difference to early July! All the vegetation had died down, or been eaten by the cattle, and the barrow was clearly exposed to view.

It's much bigger than I'd previously thought, and neither is it entirely 'round'. There seems to be an additional bit of barrow to the most circular, raised bit; and I wonder if it had originally been a long barrow rather than a round barrow. Standing on top of the highest bit, and looking eastwards, this would certainly appear to be the case, as does looking side-on from the south. I measured it approximately in paces; the circular part of the barrow is about 54x48 feet, and if one adds on the the slightly flatter long bit, is 114x54 feet. I would say that this longer measurement makes it something in the region of half the length of Wayland's Smithy. But sort of all flopped out, like an exhausted spaniel.

Interestingly, if it is a long barrow, it also lies on an east-west axis, with the high bit in the west. This west face also looks straight across to Wytham and Hinksey Hills (which were steaming gently like a Javanese rainforest in this unseasonal August heatwave), so therefore offers a pleasant view from the broad expanse of the meadow. I wondered about Goddess in the Landscape stuff.

This is another thing that made me wonder if it's a melting longbarrow; it lies on a water meadow which is home to free roaming grazing cattle and horses since before the Domesday Book. Is it possible that it has sunk due to erosion and flooding?

It's still gorgeous and lovely, and tugs me back every time I try to leave.
treaclechops Posted by treaclechops
31st August 2003ce

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