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Horsell Common

Round Barrow(s)


Horsell Common Barrows – 11.5.2003

If you are approaching this from the south, drive slowly over the charming canal bridge (with bright white pillars and jet black railings) just after the railway bridge because the only car park in the area is immediately on your right after the canal bridge and is not signposted (it’s just opposite ‘Britannia Wharf’). I missed it and had to drive up to the large roundabout and return – there was no parking off the road elsewhere.

I think the easterly barrow is just to the right of the car park entrance. I parked, looked ahead and there was this large mound complete with classic hollowed top, trees and litter! It’s hard to tell the size of it due to the trees and brambles, but I’d guess about 20 m diameter and 1- 1.5m high.

The westerly barrow is reached by crossing the road and following a path for about 200 metres through woodland until you come to a clearing and the enormous bowl barrow is slap bang in front of you (the path actually goes up and over it). It’s a pretty dramatic setting, in this clearing surrounded by pine and birch trees.

I reckon it’s about 35-40 m in diameter and 1.5-2 m high. It is an excellent example of a bowl barrow, especially so close to London; the outer ditch and bank can clearly be seen all the way around, rising to a maximum of about 60cm high for the bank and about 30cm deep for the ditch. When I visited the bracken had been totally burnt off. I’d guess it wasn’t deliberate environmental management because the trees to the west (mainly young silver birch’s) were also burnt, as were some of the trees to the east (i.e. back towards the main road)
pure joy Posted by pure joy
11th May 2003ce

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