Barrows - a different place to keep cremation ashes

Barrows - a different place to keep cremation ashes

Barrows are a new option for a special place to keep the cremation ashes of a departed loved one. However, they have in fact been the traditional option for keeping cremated remains for a very, very long time.

Barrows in history

Barrows go back to prehistoric times. They are burial mounds to keep the remains of people who have died. They can be either "round" or "long".

Long barrows date from 4000-2000 BC and were built by the Neolithic people. As their name suggests, these are elongated mounds and they have parallel ditches on each side. They are thought to be ceremonial places, as only certain parts of peoples remains have been found within.

Round barrows date from about 2000BC, in the Bronze Age. They look like an upside-down bowl, and often also have a ditch around them.

Modern Barrows

People choose natural materials, like local stone, for modern barrows. They can be long or round, and inside there are niches to hold cremation urns.

Modern barrows are often in a peaceful spot in the countryside. Families can hold their funeral service in the open air beside the barrow. They then enter inside the barrow to place the urn containing the cremation ashes into the niche. Most barrows allow people to return to visit their departed loved one in this beautiful peaceful place.

What is it like inside a barrow?

It is very quiet and peaceful inside. Additionally, often the barrow aligns so that sunlight fills the entranceway on solstices. The stonework is often rustic and aesthetically pleasing. Candles or small lights frequently illuminate the niches and many people say that they experience a pleasant tingling feeling of calm and peace within a barrow.

Who can you place in a barrow?

Barrows are open to people of all religions and many religious orders will bless the niche. You usually rent the niche for 99 years, and you can renew the lease. Niches are usually large enough to hold more than one urn. People often reserve their niche for future use.

You can find information about where to find a modern barrow here and here.

Why choose a barrow?

A barrow provides a special place where people can return to spend time with their departed loved one. Many families find comfort knowing that their family member or friend is resting peacefully in such a lovely place. Barrows are popular resting places for people who feel a strong attachment to nature and tradition.