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

Golden Barrow (destroyed)

Round Barrow(s)


TUMULUS XX (AW 98) Copy of a letter to H.P. Wyndham Esq July 28th 1803.
Sir I have this day opened a barrow in Upton Lovell it is situated in the meads a few yards north of the river Wylye. As the discoveries in this barrow are more important in their nature than any other ever yet made I hasten to inform you the particulars. This Barrow of a pyramidal form or rather like the common of houses, pointing East to West, is in the base 52 by 32 feet, the slope 22ft, the length on the top 22 feet. The North side of the barrow is extremely ? the south side is much mutilated. On making a section lengthways of the barrow, at about two feet deep we found in a very shallow cist human burnt bones piled in a little heap, and at a foots distance a considerable quantity of ashes, which also contained small fragments of human bones, upon which and at two feet distant from the bones were found the following articles of pure gold, which are neatly wrought and highly polished, viz about ten gold beads* made in the form of a drum ? two ends to ~off and perforated in the sides..see Plate XI fig 5 ~.a thin plate of the same metal# nearly 9 inches by 6 inches long , this is very neatly ornamented as you will see by Plate XI fig ?. by a beautiful Bulla of a conical form, see fig 3 in the same plate- and inside this is a solid cone of wood, the gold which completely covered it is very thin, at the base are two holes for a thread or wire by which it was suspended see fig 4. near the above were found of gold four articles viz.. two of which that appeared once t have covered the ends of staffs (some of my friends say they are small boxes. see plate XI fig 1 and 2. Among the gold ornaments lay several flat pieces of amber, about the eight of an inch in thickness , and about an inch wide, -they were all perforated lengthways but were sadly broken in getting out. (see plate two fig 2 when joined they were the exact form of those found in Deverell Barrow only bigger). What is every extraordinary there were also nearly one thousand amber beads of different sizes see Plate X fig 2.- Close to the pile of ashes we found a very small urn see Plate X fig 1. Also a lance head of brass and a pin of the same metal-see the same plate. The urn is of a very extraordinary form, appearing as though it had been studded all over with small black grapes. In this barrow, contrary to the usual custom of interment on the Downs, which is generally on, or in the native soil we found the cist nearly on the top of the barrow and this deviation was probably occasioned by the wetness of the soil, the barrow being near the river. We find in other respects a similar method of interment to what we find in many other barrows, the small urn, lance head of brass, brass pin etc are common. From the profusion of valuable ornaments, for valuable they must have been at the period of their interment, we might naturally conclude this barrow to have been the sepulchre of a great chief of the Belgic+ Britons. + Mr Coxe objects to the word Belgic, suppose we say a British chief near the time of Caesars invasion.
William Cunnington, Manuscript Letters, Vol., p.35-6
Chance Posted by Chance
19th December 2011ce

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