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

Therfield Heath

Barrow / Cairn Cemetery


The barrows at Therfield Heath are rather unexpected in this part of the country. They are beautifully positioned overlooking the ancient Icknield Way and you can see for miles across the flat Cambridgeshire countryside. There are five Bronze Age barrows in a group right on the 'turn' of the slope, and some way further back a Neolithic longbarrow, which was apparently reused in anglo saxon times. There are other round barrows on the heath too (even one with a bench perched on the top...). Part of the heath is a golf course so you do have to watch yourself crossing the greens, but the site is supposed to be a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It's chalk and there are lots of interesting flowers, including (i haven't seen it but if you get up there at Easter you might) the rare Pasqueflower.
Parking is easy - there's a small 'nature reserve' car park at the west end, or drive through the golf club car park at the eastern end, and then make your way up the slope.
Go into Royston to see the 'Roy Stone' a 2 tonne glacial erratic placed at time immemorial? at the crossroads of the Icknield Way and the Roman Ermine Street. Also there's Royston Cave, a v mysterious underground chamber with strange pagan/christian carvings of uncertain date but for some reason associated with the Knights Templar. That's at the crossroads too - popular with ley line fans also.
The barrows at Therfield Heath are somewhere to clear your mind and think about the passing of time; I think they're cool and pretty unmissable if you're about in this relatively barrowless land.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
27th March 2002ce
Edited 1st May 2003ce

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