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Beedon Barrow

Round Barrow(s)

Also known as:
  • Barrow Hill (Berkshire)
  • Burrow Hill
  • Soldier's Grave

Nearest Town:Wantage (12km NW)
OS Ref (GB):   SU467786 / Sheet: 174
Latitude:51° 30' 13.93" N
Longitude:   1° 19' 37.52" W

Added by pure joy

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There is a large tumulus in Stanmore field.. called Burrow Hill by the common people; who have a tradition that a man of that name was interred there in a gold or silver coffin. This barrow.. was opened during the month of April, 1815..

The common people state that an attempt to open this barrow was made about fifty years ago, but the design was frustrated by a dreadful hailstorm, with lightning, which compelled the labourers to desist. Thunder being also heard during the second attempt in question, the excavators were universally considered as the disturbers of the atmosphere; those that remembered the previous event, remarking, that "the undertaking seemed not altogether pleasing to the Lord!"

A terrific thunder-storm happening on the following day, the labourers were obliged to desist and take refuge in a neighbouring cottage; which had such an effect on the mind of one of the workmen employed, that he actually refused to come again. The recurrence of a thunder storm during this, the second attempt, was generally considered as remarkable; but such was its melancholy influence on this poor fellow that he became completely deranged, and never did a day's work afterwards; being confined in St. Luke's and other lunatic asylums for the remainder of his life. It is but justice to state, that Mr Long [the director of the excavation] had never heard of this melancholy result of his labours until the present year.

Among other ridiculous stories and puerile superstitions respecting this tumulus, the peasantry relate that it is inhabited by fairies; and that a certain ploughman having broken his share, and gone home to procure some tools, found on his return that the plough had already been mended.
From 'The history and antiquities of the hundred of Compton, Berks' by John Snare, 1844.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
14th July 2010ce
Edited 14th July 2010ce

Mr Charles Long communicated a Notice of the investigation of a British tumulus in Berkshire, directed by Mr Henry Long and himself some years since, and he produced a portion of a diminutive vase, found with the interent, and of the class termed by Sir Richard C Hoare, "incense cups."

.. The barrow was situated near Stanmore Farm, at Beedon.. The common people gave the name of Borough, or Burrow, Hill to it, and they had a vague tradition of a man called Burrow who was there interred in a coffin of precious metal..

.. It was with considerable difficulty that Mr Long could prevail upon the tenant-farmer to give consent; his wife, moreover, had dreamed of treasure concealed on the east side, "near a white spot." The promise, that all valuables discovered should be rendered up to them, at length secured their permission.
p67 in 'The Archaeological Journal' v7, 1850.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
8th February 2008ce
Edited 14th July 2010ce

Beedon Barrow (on Burrow Hill). Legend has it that a man named Burrow was buried here in a gold or silver coffin. It is also supposed to be a fairy dwelling, and ploughman who broke his ploughshare found it had been mended by them while he was away fetching tools. It was believed that the barrow could not be ploughed away; it would always remain the same. Desecration of the barrow by digging was said to bring on a thunderstorm; this apparently happened in the 19th Century. pure joy Posted by pure joy
25th March 2003ce


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Society of Antiquaries of London Catalogue

Drawing of an urn found in the Beedon Barrow (top).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
8th August 2006ce