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Tar Barrows

Round Barrow(s)


Details of barrows on Pastscape

(SP 0296 0266) Tar Barrow (Tumulus) (O.E. Marked "A")
(SP 0311 0252) Tar Barrow (Tumulus) (O.E. Marked "B")
"East of the town (of Cirencester) about a quarter of a mile, is Starbury Mount, a Barrow, where Roman coins have been dug up."
"On the further, or eastern side, (of Cirencester) on the rising ground above the town and between the Foss-road and the White-way are situated the two Tar-Barrows....standing.....about two hundred yards apart. In A.D. 1200 their name is given as Thoreberewe. William of Worcester refers (C.1460) to one of these as Castrum Torre (Itin 279)..."(Ref to Baddeley's map: The name "Thorebarewe" is applied to Tar-Barrow "A" at SP 0296 0266.) (3)
Tar Barrow ('A'): Probably a round mound like the one to the south-east ('B') but its shape has been altered by digging at the side. Remains of digging between the two barrows has been ploughed smooth.
Tar Barrow('B): This barrow is a high round mound of earth and stones, apparently undisturbed except that a clump of elms and beeches, one ash, and a sycamore have been planted upon it. There is no sign of a ditch. Probably Roman.
At 'C' (SP 0295 0260) is a large raised knoll, with the appearance of a third barrow for this group, covered by cultivation.
Tar Barrow ('B') : Dug out by a former owner, who found some sort of cist. Unpublished. (5)
Cirencester, Tar-Barrows - Scheduled Ancient Monument (Listed under Round Barrows). (6)
(A) Cirencester 2; 24 paces N-S, 30 paces E-W, 7ft high. Tree planted bowl barrow; Scheduled. (B) Cirencester 3; 32 paces diam; 12 ft high. Conical profile; the mound was opened from thetop to a depth of 8-10 ft in 1935 with no result except the exposure of a large slab. Site visited immediately afterwards by H. O'Neill. Bowl barrow: Scheduled.
(C) Cirencester 3a. SP 0295 0255. Large and irregular; it might be a partly levelled barrow but may be natural Considered doubtful. (7)
A. A tree covered mound 1.7m high, & elongated N-S (Grinsell's points are transposed). It seems completely encircled by quarrying and its summit is barely higher than the general level of the ground to the S.E. and W. and cannot be seen until the quarried area is approached. A doubtful barrow for this reason and because it is only recorded by the O.S. (authority unknown) and subsequently accepted by Baddeley who almost certainly gives it the name "Thoreberewe" erroneously. In Rudder's 'History' only one barrow is mentioned - "a large and lofty tumulus near the town called Tor-barrow....." Rudder was a Cirencester man and would certainly have known of and mentioned a second barrow. Mound surveyed at 1/2500.
B. Tree covered, 2.2m high on W. and 3.2m high on the E. side. Steep sided with no trace of a ditch, & visible from the distance. Almost certainly 1200 A.D. "Thoreberewe", the 15th c. "Castrum Torre" and Defoes "Starbury Mount". Rudder says "Torbarrow" was opened c. 1800 and nothing found in it but a small coin and a large square slab, which may be that re-found in 1935. At the foot of the mound is a slab 1.5m x 0.7m and 0.2m thick. If it was part of a chamber it has been altered since. The underside is well tooled and the upper face has been roughly incised as if for cutting out a curved lintel. Surveyed at 1/2500.
C. This appears to be a natural rise at SP 0295 0259. (8)
An assessment of aerial photographs in the vicinity of Tar Barrow and Hare Bushes suggests that the view of authority 8 is correct and that supposed barrow "A" is probably the result of upcast from quarrying and that barrow "C" is a natural feature or possibly the junction of medieval plough headlands. Tar barrow (barrow "B" at SP 0311 0252) appears to have been used as a marker for the laying out of part of the medieval open field system which once extended across the fields on the north and east of Cirencester. Medieval boundary banks extend east and west from the barrow. These boundaries and the associated ridge and furrow have now been ploughed level. (9)
Chance Posted by Chance
9th June 2014ce
Edited 9th June 2014ce

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