Round barrow amongst yellow rapeseed flowers against blue sky with rain clouds

Round Barrow 1

The history of the area around Charlton Down goes back to very ancient times. The most visible evidence for this is the number of round barrows in the landscape. These are the tumuli that are marked with an asterisk symbol on Ordnance Survey maps. There are quite a few around the village of Charlton Down and a short walk from Greenwood House. They are burial mounds that were constructed about 3,000 years ago in the Bronze Age.

Some survive better than others after all this time; many are in fields where generations of ploughing have reduced the height of them and rendered them almost invisible to the untrained eye. Some remain spectacularly intact but hidden in plain sight. One such is preserved on the brow of the slope near the highest part of Charlton Higher Down, where it is barely visible at this time of year in the middle of a field of flowering rape (SY68859575). I couldn’t see it till I was very close because of the tall stalks and the curve of the land, but the establishment of a small shrub (I think it is Elder) on the summit of the grassy mound acted as a marker. I had to hold the camera in the air at full arms’ length to get the shots against quite a dramatic background of rain clouds.