Amazing what you find if you look. Tucked away behind Leafield village, looking magnificent in the glorious spring sunshine, stands a huge barrow.
This must have been a truly impressive tomb in it's hey-day, and I presume would have been along the lines of a Severn-Cotswold design. I was disappointed that any entrance way had long since disappeared, but the views this site commanded were staggering. On the highest point in the area, one could see for miles in every direction.
Shame about the trig. point and the reservoir/substation, whatever, but the trees atop it were very pleasant.
Standing proudly in a field at the back of the village, atop the highest point in the locality, 200 feet up it has great views over rolling scenery. About 50ft in diameter the great earth tump reminds me bit of Hetty Peglars, but there's no grand entrance, no stones to see, nothing. Just 6 great trees and a triangulation post sticking out of it.
Its very much the king of the castle, and probably been saved from being ploughed over by virtue of its commanding position.
Its on private land, so to reach it, find the Fox PH and just to the right of this between two houses (called The New House and No 1, The Green, I think) is a gate into the field. You'll see it there in front of you.
(SP 31611541) Leafield Barrow (NAT) Tumulus (NR) (1) Leafield barrow. A round barrow, north of the village, 320ft in circumference, 11ft 6ins high on west end and 8ft on east. Grass-grown and planted with trees, it has the appearance of having been opened. (2) The mound stands in permanent pasture on the highest point of a low hill. It is egg-shaped with the large end towards the north west and has a flattened and disturbed top on which can be seen a low lateral bank that is probably recent. No traces of a ditch can be seen. An OS trig pillar stands on top and the north east side has been encroached upon by a reservoir. Certainly a substantial feature, but it cannot be said categorically to be a barrow. Published 1:2500 survey revised. (3) (SP 31601541) Leafield Barrow (NAT) (4) SP 316155. Leafield Barrow, round barrow, scheduled. (5) SP 31611540. Round barrow, c. 25m in diameter and 4m high, listed. (6) The motte, located on a small hill, measures 38 metres across and is 4 metres high. It has a flat oval summit and there is a square feature with an internal depression which has been interpreted as being the remains of a stone keep, similar to that at the nearby motte and bailey castle in Ascott d'Oyley. The motte is in the centre of a series of earthworks including medieval ridge and furrow cropmarks and the possible remains of a bailey. There is no evidence of a ditch around the base of the motte and the eastern side has been damaged by the building of a reservoir. Please note that the site has been identified as a motte castle whereas before it was believed to be a Bronze Age barrow. The previous sources all cite it as a barrow. (7) The Oxfordshire Historic Environment Record contains the same information stated in sources 1-7 but includes additional references and a number of photographs of the site. (8)