Tumulus: OS Grid Reference – SE 987 553
Also Known as:
- Barrow no.268 (Mortimer)
Archaeology & History
Once located on the south side of the stream between the ‘lost’ village of Eastburn and the cottages at Battleburn, this burial mound was one of many explored by the great J.R. Mortimer (1905), who told that:
“On June 24th, 1884, it measured about 40 feet in diameter and 4½ in elevation, and had a depression in the centre, which might have been caused by a former opening. By the old inhabitants of the neighbourhood it is known — like several other similar mounds near settlements — by the name of Mill Hill. A 15-feet square was cut from the centre and the natural ground beneath was found to consist of 3 feet of clay, resting upon chalk gravel. Through this clay and into the chalk gravel beneath was a roughly-cut trench, 3½ feet deep by about 3 feet wide, running north and south the whole width of our excavation and beyond, and from about the centre of the mound a similarly roughly-formed trench was observed to run east and west…”
In the sections that Mortimer and his fellows excavated, they uncovered various intriguing deposits, including the remains of ox, goats and horses. Later deposits were also located in and around the mound, showing it had been used in more recent centuries.
Mortimer suggested this site was once an old moot site; comparing it to a place of the same name a short distance west at Kirkburn.
Mortimer, J.R., Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, A. Brown & Sons: London 1905.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian