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

King Offa's Tomb

Round Barrow(s)


I wonder if Ike's still about. I'd love to know how he knows about this site and its name.. I can't see the name on the maps. But anyway. Once there must have been a barrow round here and maybe this is it.
In a Tumulus at Over, in this parish [Almondsbury], opened in the year 1650, was found a human skeleton, in a sitting posture, which report affirms to have exceeded the common stature by three feet. No well-authenticated account of the discoveries made on the opening of this sepulchre, appears to have been written.
Doesn't seem unreasonable that a 8ft+ man would have been a king, fair enough.

From v5 of 'The Beauties of England and Wales', 1810.

On a map from 1880 I see 'site of tumulus' is marked at 58828178. So maybe that's the one referred to above, rather than Ike's mound?
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
13th June 2008ce
Edited 1st January 2012ce

Comments (2)

I doubt whether Offa would be buried in a sitting position.
I notice the field is called Cross Field in a deed held by Bristol University Library. The field was at that time (1838) being sold by Bristol Corporation to pay for damage caused by the Bristol riots of 1831.
Cross Field was part of St Swithin's Farm, which had been held by the corporation since 1542. There was a ruined chapel dedicated to St Swithin on the farm, which was moated. St Swithin was the patron saint of Winchester Cathedral, which presumably owned the farm until it came into the hands of the corporation after the dissolution of the monasteries.
Posted by Gaveller
1st January 2012ce
An interesting mesh of history around there then? (and now somewhat intruded upon by the M5). I bet the university library is full of all sorts of fascinating stuff.

Perhaps when they said 'a sitting position' they didn't originally mean sitting upright, but it was a way of describing a foetal position, knees bent? which would be in contrast to a Proper laid-out christian-type position?
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
1st January 2012ce
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