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Brightwell Heath

Round Barrow(s)

Also known as:
  • Martlesham Heath

Nearest Town:Woodbridge (5km NNE)
OS Ref (GB):   TM245447 / Sheet: 169
Latitude:52° 3' 16.72" N
Longitude:   1° 16' 29.73" E

Added by Rhiannon

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Brightwell Heath, barrow cemetery (TM 242444) 4.75 miles E. of Ipswich. 1 mile NW of Brightwell (A 1093).
This cemetery is unevenly scattered along the N side of a narrow E/W plantation. Originally there were at least 8 mounds. The survivors are beside and SW of the Devil's Ring (map ref. above).
This has a diam. of 120 ft. and consists of a low central mound surrounded by a ditch with an outer bank an enlarged
saucer-barrow. The bank is still 3 to 4 ft. high.
NW there are 2 bowl-barrows, the larger 110 ft. in diam. and 7 ft. high. the other 60 ft. in diam. and 6 ft. high.
To the SW there were 3 bowl-barrows, destroyed after excavation.
Further SW, at the W end of the plantation, there is a bowl-barrow 70 ft. in diam. and 6 ft. high.
Unfortunately, since this account was written in 1960, all except one of these barrows have been destroyed by ploughing. The survivor, crowned with fir trees, is beside the road across Foxhall Heath. It is still 3 ft. high.
Nothing is known of the contents of these mounds. Date. c. 1700-1400 BC.
Guide to prehistoric England - Nicholas Thomas 1976
Chance Posted by Chance
28th February 2012ce
Edited 28th February 2012ce

There are a lot of round barrows in this area. Mr Grinsell found reference to them in the 'Letters and Papers Foreign and Domestic' of Henry VIII, XIII (ii), p555, 30 Sept, 1538.
Brightwell, 1538: Thomas Toyser to Cromwell complains of divers ill-doers who have digged for gold and treasure in his lordship of Brightwell, Suffolk. Thomas Toyser applies for the Kings licence so that he will not only save much goods and treasure as shall be found there to the King's use, but will the sooner come to the knowledge of these ill-doers.

There is an important group of barrows on Brightwell Heath, which were probably the objects of this investigation.
On p38 of Barrow Treasure, in Fact, Tradition, and Legislation
L. V. Grinsell
Folklore, Vol. 78, No. 1. (Spring, 1967), pp. 1-38.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
15th June 2007ce
Edited 16th June 2007ce