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

Brean Down

Barrow / Cairn Cemetery


I was last here a few years ago, on a bit of a random day out, we just stumbled across the place. A few weeks later I read about Brean Down in Ronald Hutton's excellent 'Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles'. In the book the focus is mainly on the Romano-British temple that once stood here, but very close by is a Bronze Age barrow, and there may well have been more. The temple fell into ruin and was built over with a christian shrine. This too has now completely gone. So in terms of sacred sites, there isn't a lot to see. However in terms of the sacred landscape this place is completely awe inspiring - I can't think of many places I have visited which are quite so elemental. You really do feel on top of the world gazing over the edge. The vastness of the sea stretches out before you, and behind the flat marshy plains of the Somerset levels with Brent Knoll clearly visible in the distance, itself the home to an Iron Age fort.

As we left Brean Down the wind howled and a storm was starting to blow in from way out at sea. This is a truly heathen place.
IronMan Posted by IronMan
7th February 2003ce
Edited 5th March 2003ce

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