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

Round Hill Tump

Round Barrow(s)


In the Reverend John Collinson's 'History and Antiquities of the County of Somerset' (from the 1780s) he spoke of "an immense tumulus at the extremity of the parish [of Wellow]". I initially assumed he was talking about Stoney Littleton but actually he was writing about the hamlet of Woodborough - where this barrow lies. It was "said to be the burial place of Saxon chieftains slain in a bloody battle."

Camerton was the Roman town that it became part of - although the site is open fields now. The round barrow has interestingly survived through everything. If you know a local name please tell me! It is still an impressive 6m high, crowned with trees and easily visible from the road. There are the remains of another round barrow in the field apparently, and archaeological work has found traces from the Neolithic too.

The field in which the barrows lie is called 'Tump Ground'. A large oak formerly stood on top of the larger barrow (the Roundhill) but was removed in the 1930s. Local people claimed that if you attempted to cut or damage the tree, blood would run from the wound.

Wedlake (in 'Excavations at Camerton 1926-56' 1958) also writes that "Local legend still has it that the mound contains the remains of soldiers killed in a battle when a town which extended from Wellow to Paulton was attacked." (This idea of the town seems quite weird, but could it be recognition of the lost Roman settlement in the area?)

The Reverend Skinner excavated the mound in September 1815 (it was a busy time for him, see the Priddy Nine Barrows). He used an interesting and unusual technique, hiring local coalminers to drive a tunnel in from the side (rather like at Silbury, I suppose). When they got to the middle they found someone had sunk a shaft from top to bottom in the past anyway.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
17th August 2005ce
Edited 5th December 2014ce

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