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If we were making a list of the top 100 ancient sites in Britain and Ireland (as is the current vogue) Newgrange would undoubtedly be in the hallowed top 10. Its great age, size, astronomical features and location in the beautiful Boyne Valley, mark it as one of the most important ‘mystery' sites in Europe. Read More »
Peter Knight (dowser, shamanic drummer, and International speaker) has just published the most comprehensive book ever on West Kennet Long Barrow, the finest Neolithic long barrow in Britain. He deals with such elements as the excavations, shamanic uses, astronomy, its place in the landscape, acoustics, earth energies and dowsing, symbolism and more. Read More »
This is one of the most recognisable chambered cairns in Wales, with a huge capstone supported by the points of 3 upright stones. Read More »
The Poulnabrone Dolmen is a portal tomb dating back to Neolithic times (2500BC). The thin capstone is about 12’ in length and is supported 6’ from the ground by two portal stones. Read More »
Within a small woodland adjacent to the ancient Ridgeway path, where it crosses the parish of East Hendred, stands Scutchamer Knob. It is a raised earth mound and legend has it, that it is the burial mound of the Saxon king Cwichelm. Read More »
Seven Barrows, is a Bronze Age cemetery. There are about 38 barrows (some sources say 32) in the area of at least four different styles, but it is seven barrows found clustered together from which the name originates. It is thought that the long barrow nearby dates from 400BC and is the oldest in the United Kingdom.
The six hills which occupy prominence in the town are tumuli or Round Barrows dating from the Bronze Age. According to legend the hills are spade fulls of earth taken from Whomerly wood and thrown at the town by a giant (or the Devil) intent on destruction. His last shot went well off mark and knocked the steeple off Gravely Church two miles away. Read More »
Spinsters Rock is a burial cairn dating to the early Bronze Age. The structure was re-erected in the 1862 after collapsing earlier in the year.
According to folklore the rocks where erected by a group of three spinsters who where on a journey to deliver some wool. Obviously these three women where seen as giants having the strength to carry such a heavy burden. Read More »
This array of boulders marks what is left of a chambered cairn, and possibly shows the site was overlain by a huge hall. The site is 50 feet in diameter and oval in shape. The age of the site is debatable and according to different sources ranges from from 1800 - 1500 BC or 3000 - 1500 BC.
Directions: Steinacleit is at Siadar on the A857.
This early Neolithic Long Barrow was constructed around 3700BC. The forecourt is flanked by two projecting horns, which frame the entrance to the passageway. The actual passageway extends under the mound for 48 feet and has 3 chambers on either side of the passage and 1 end chamber. These were found to contain a mixed group of bones some of them burned, from a number of different burials. Read More »
The Camster Cairns are some of the best-preserved Neolithic burial mounds in Scotland. They date from around 3500BC, and are developed sites, in that they were used over a long period of time. Read More »
Hills, mounds and burial sites. Places which have a timeless allure. Such places can be seen and regarded as mythically liminal, a place that it is not a place. A place outside of time. A place where the living freely walk with the dead. Barrows are just such places. Read More »
[Please note the views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Mysterious Britain team]
To the average tourist the West Kennet Long Barrow is another ancient monument to look over and wonder at the way in which it was constructed, with numerous slabs of sarsen stone laid one upon another. Read More »
Trevethy Quoit, also known as King Arthur's Quoit, is one of the more impressive burial chambers in Cornwall. Standing at over 15 feet 4.6 Metres. This cromlech dates from the Bronze Age period. The capstone is pierced by a hole, the purpose of which is unknown. Read More »
Five circular thatched houses, within the village are supposed to have been designed to ensure that the Devil cannot hide in any corners. Each house is topped with a cross, a further deterrent to the Devil. In actuality they were built by the Reverend Jeremiah Trist for his daughters. The houses are now in private ownership. Read More »
Wayland's Smithy is one of the most impressive and atmospheric Neolithic burial chambers in Britain. Somehow this ancient grave became associated with Wayland, the Saxon god of metalworking, from whom it takes its name.
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In the 1876 book entitled ‘History of the Fylde of Lancashire’ by John Porter, reference is made to an extensive barrow or cairn near Weeton Lane Heads which was accidentally opened. This burial chamber had the reputation of being haunted by a boggart or hairy ghost. Read More »
The remains of a portal dolmen burial chamber dating from around 4100BC the Whispering Knights can be as evocative as their name suggests, looming from the mist in the cool Warwickshire morning. They stand 5 to 8 feet in height and are close to the Rollright Stones in Oxfordshire with which they share folklore. Read More »
An oval neolithic burial mound dating from 3,750-3,100 B.C. can be foun don Whiteleaf Hill. Within the mound was buried a single male. Animal bones and pottery shards found within indicate evidence of ceremonial feasting when the mound was constructed. It was first excavated by Sir Lindsay Scott in the 1930’s and the again by Oxford Archaeology between 2002 and 2006.