A group of Bronze Age round barrows formerly stood on Marshfield Down. They were destroyed by a combination of bulldozing and excavation in the late 1940s. Finds from the barrows include Bronze Age pottery, cremations, amber beads, a bronze awl, a bronze dagger and part of another, a transverse arrowhead, two barbed and tanged arrowheads, and part of a Neolithic axe. One of the barrows was known as St Oswald's Tump (this contained a cremation with the daggers) and may have been a disc barrow or a bowl barrow. It was traditionally associated with the martyrdom of St Oswald.
[CENTRED ST 7950 7450] TUMULI [G.T.] (Sites of) (1). [4 shown]
Tumuli [T.I.] (2). [7 shown] (1-2)
Round Barrows on Marshfield Down bulldozed in 1947:-
No. 1, ST 7941 7450
No. 2, ST 7943 7451
No. 3, ST 7946 7453 approx.
No. 4-4a, ST 7948 7454 approx. Excavated by Gettins 1947-9. The barrow had a retaining kerb and a presumably primary cremation with fragments of B.A. pottery.
No. 5, ST 7951 7455 approx. Excavated by Gettins 1947-9. This barrow had a retaining kerb of dry stone walling and a primary
cremation with amber beads, bronze awl, etc.
No. 6, ST 7953 7457 approx. Excavated by Gettins 1947-9. This barrow was confluent with No. 5, the retaining kerbs overlapping. This barrow had a primary cremation with parts of an E/MBA collared urn and 3 or 4 secondary cremations.
No. 7, ST 7955 7447 St. Oswald's Tump was probably a bell barrow. Bulldozing revealed a cist with bones (probably a cremation), a bronze dagger dateable to c. 1500-1370 B.C., and the tip of a second dagger.
Three faint mounds some 150 yards north-east of this group may also be barrows.
The finds from the group are in the Bristol City Museum. (3-6)
St. Oswald's Ring, a circle of earth or oolitic rubble suggestive of a disc barrow, was situated near St. Oswald's Tump, and was traditionally the place of martyrdom of St. Oswald. (7)
The area is under wheat. There is no sign of these barrows (which seem to have been destroyed by excavation) or of the faint mounds mentioned by Grinsell. (8)
The following flint implements were found with others in Gettins' excavations:-
Barrow 4 (Gettins' barrow III) A possible chisel / poorly made petit tranchet from the barrow mound. Barrow 6, A barbed and tanged arrowhead. Barrow 7 (Gettins' barrow V) A barbed and tanged arrowhead found on the surface. A face fragment from a Neolithic axe found during Gettins' excavations. (9-10)
Marshfield Barrow Cemetery-addtional reference-infomation as above (11)
A group of 7 or 8 barrows, now destroyed. (12)