Just been reviewing some of my old pictures and I thought I’d share this place with you all.
Bartlow is a small village close to Linton, Cambridge and contains one of the most fascinating pieces of history. These are Romano-British burial mounds dating from the 1st or 2nd century AD. For more information on the history etc. visit here or here.
The thing I found so fascinating about this site is its relative obscurity. These are the largest known Romano-British burial mounds in Europe and yet on the day of our visit the site was empty. Not a single visitor except for me and my wife. No-one seems to know about them.
The day we visited was also a beautiful summer’s day so you can’t put the lack of visitors down to the weather. They are also not that easy to find. It took us several hours of walking before we found them. Not because they are that isolated. They are actually only a 5-10 minute walk behind Bartlow church which itself is a bit of an oddity in that it possesses a round tower. Quite unusual in this part of the country and likewise it was empty of visitors.
Restorations there have uncovered some fascinating wall art under coats of lime wash. Well worth a visit too and there’s more info on Bartlow Church here.
But anyway. After much searching we eventually found the mounds. Only 3 remain of the original 7 or more I believe. A railway was responsible for some of the destruction as they blocked the route although ironically the railway has long gone although the mounds (or at least some of them) still remain.
But you will be amazed if you do visit and I highly recommend it. After a bit of a trek down the side of the church and behind some private residences you pass over an old railway bridge. Keep going and suddenly the site just opens up in front of you. It is so peaceful and undisturbed and I promise you it will take your breath away. There is an information board there and the site is obviously kept tended but that is it. Magnificent.
There are steps up the largest mound but it takes some climbing and it left me out of breath particularly as I smoked at the time. Hard on the calves too. But climb it if you can. We sat up there for an hour or so just enjoying the view and the peace and quiet of the site. Fantastic too was the realization that we were sitting atop almost 2000 years of British history. And in all that time we saw only one person walking their dog. Such peace, such history, such beauty. And all for free. Make sure you visit but be aware there is no parking as such although you can leave the car by the church entrance.
Enjoy the pictures.
© 2014 Stan M Rogers. All rights reserved.