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

Bronkham Hill

Barrow / Cairn Cemetery


Some words on the possible 'specialness' of the location and the deliberate siting of the barrows.

According to Christopher Tilley, the holes in this landscape are known as 'dolines' and they're little sinkholes where the chalk underneath has collapsed. He notes:
[They] are particularly striking not only because of their size and depth but also their close association and juxtaposition with the burial mounds, something that surprisingly has been completely ignored in the archaeological literature on the Dorset Ridgeway.

Standing near to some of the largest barrows it appears as if the barrows themselves have been thrown up out of the largest of the dolines. The dolines themselves may indeed have been enlarged or at the least have provided a ready source of building material for barrow construction. One is a transformation or inversion of the other..
As Formicaant suggests, the way the barrows are laid out seems to show some deliberateness over their views: "it is only from the bell barrow at the highest point that the majority of barrows both to the west and east are visible" - inter-barrow visibility is very restricted at other points. The "finest and most extensive views of the Chesil Beach and the Fleet lagoon are obtainable from the vantage point of the largest and highest bell barrow on the summit of Bronkham Hill."

from 'Metaphor and Material Culture' by Christopher Tilley (1999) - a limited view is available on Google Books.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
27th March 2007ce
Edited 27th March 2007ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment