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

Danes Hills

Barrow / Cairn Cemetery


..on the north side of [Skipwith or Riccal] Common are many tumuli, known in the locality by the name of the Danes' Hills. That the peasantry of the surrounding district know the mournful origin of these "soldiers' sepulchres" is clear, from the fact of their readily telling you that "they say" pieces of red cloth have been foud in the neighbourhood of the tombs.

Tradition says also that at the time those graves were made, a swampy drain or bog, now called Riccal Towdyke, was choked up with slain. That tradition has evidently descended from the same source that the chroniclers obtained their information from, viz. the surviving spectators.
A Dr Burton opened some of the barrows and found, apparently, the bones of some young men with 'very firm and fresh' teeth(!), one with his head cut off and between his knees. "Ever since the aforesaid battle, it is by tradition to this day said, that the Danes were permitted to encamp here till they had buried their dead, and their ships at Riccal should be ready for their re-embarking for Norway."

From p218 of August 1863's edition of the Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Review. Online at Google Books.

According to the record on Magic, these are actually Iron Age barrows, called Square Barrows.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
12th May 2007ce
Edited 12th May 2007ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment