In our inaugural article, almost a year ago, we featured an ancient Romano-British site (the Bartlow Burial Mounds, formerly in Essex but after boundary changes now in Cambridgeshire) that has suffered from three of the hazards highlighted in our header – ie Bartlow is a site which has fallen foul (relatively recently) from development, neglect and vandalism. According to the Cambridgeshire Rural Society the Bartlow Burial Mounds (also known as the Bartlow Hills) “…was originally the largest group of Roman barrows in northern Europe and includes the highest burial mound in Britain.”
The noticeboard at the foot of one of the mounds records that, “The seven mounds covered extraordinary rich burials containing a collection of wonderful artistic objects, the best found in Britain. Mound IV, the largest, is 45ft high and 144ft in diameter. Mound II is still visible as a low rise, I is just discernable, and III is totally destroyed.” The noticeboard goes on to say that, “In 1815 Busick Harwood “excavated” VI to provide work for the unemployed… They began at the apex and digging down at great labour to the cist despoiled it of its contents, which were distributed and no account of them taken”.
To celebrate our first year, we’re pleased to be able to present these two stunning photographs, taken by Bill Blake with a camera attached to a kite, of the Bartlow Burial Mounds in autumn sunlight. More photos by Bill of the Mounds can be found here.
Kite Aerial Photograph by Bill Blake Heritage Documentation: all rights reserved, used with permission. Note path left of centre which leads from Bartlow Church