Burial mounds are again becoming popular in modern Britain
In Neolithic times, burial mounds were the normal last resting place for mortal remains. The stone structures were collective tombs. These were covered over with huge mounds of earth. Also known as long barrows, many of these prehistoric tombs still exist across the UK. Some are more than 5,000 years old. The practice has not been in use in this country since 2,000 BC. Until recently.
Modern burial mounds offer a dignified and original option for cremated remains
Burial mounds are now enjoying renewed interest. With a lack of space for burials, people are looking for other options. Cremation is becoming increasingly popular. However, there are few choices of places in which to keep cremated remains. Brand new burial mounds offer mourners a different option for safekeeping the cremated remains of their loved ones.
An incredible feat of craftsmanship creates a modern burial mound
The first new burial mound created in thousands of years is the Willow Row Barrow in Cambridgeshire. The fine craftsmanship of the stone structure is impressive. Using only traditional tools it took four stonemasons five months of work to create. They used three hundred tons of limestone brought from Northamptonshire.
A central passage bisects the circle-within-a-circle structure. Niches and plots to store cremated remains line the walls. Candles illuminate the interior and create a mystical atmosphere.
The corbelled roof has a striking beehive form from within. On the outside, it is entirely covered with earth. This has an insulating effect, so it is very quiet and peaceful inside. It also ensures that everything remains completely dry inside the structure.
Four hundred niches offer a peaceful last resting place
Single, double and family niches line the stone walls of the burial mounds. Friends or relatives can place the ashes of their loved one in a cremation urn and place it in a niche. Spaces have flexible ninety-nine-year leases and can be passed on to children.
People can visit their departed friends and relatives in this tranquil place whenever they want. The barrows are secular, but inside visitors can practice whatever faith they follow. Outside there are stone benches where families can sit and enjoy the surrounding countryside.
Public approval is spurring the creation of more burial mounds
Sacred Stones is the company behind these modern burial mounds. In addition to the original site, they are currently working on another barrow in Herefordshire. Public reaction has been so positive that they have seven further sites under planning.