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These stunning images show the Milky Way etched across the night sky over a Neolithic burial barrow, which will open this weekend as part of a Stone Age tradition being resurrected across Britain.

The Soulton Long Barrow in Shropshire is only the third of its kind to be opened in modern times.

The burial chamber is based on ancient solution to the lack of burial space in Britain used by our Neolithic ancestors almost 5,000 years ago.


Return of the death mound: Neolithic-style tombs are back in fashion after 5,000 years as Britain runs out of space to bury the dead

The Soulton Long Barrow in Shropshire is only the third of its kind to be opened in modern times

Inspired by those created by prehistoric ancestors 5,000 years ago, the structure is built entirely by hand

The barrow, covered by soil with wild flowers and meadow grass, will house cremation ashes


By PHOEBE WESTON and HARRY PETTIT FOR MAILONLINE
7 September 2018

These stunning images show the Milky Way etched across the night sky over a Neolithic burial barrow, which will open this weekend as part of a Stone Age tradition being resurrected across Britain.

The Soulton Long Barrow in Shropshire is only the third of its kind to be opened in modern times.

The burial chamber is based on ancient solution to the lack of burial space in Britain used by our Neolithic ancestors almost 5,000 years ago.
Soulton Long Barrow is made entirely by hand using natural limestone, lime mortar and traditional techniques.

Housing ashes inside the structure costs around £750 ($970) for an individual, and £5,850 ($7,590) for a family.

The barrow, covered by rich soil planted with wild flowers and meadow grass, will house cremation ashes and will provide a cheaper and more secular alternative venue for funerals, its creators say.


These stunning images show the milky way stretching across the night sky over a Neolithic burial barrow which will open this weekend as part of a Stone Age tradition that is being resurrected in Britain


Similar structures have already opened at All Cannings in Wiltshire back in 2014, and at Willow Row in Cambridgeshire two years later.

The Neolithic-inspired structures are the first to be built in the UK for 5,500 years.

Prices range from £750 ($973) to £5,850 ($7,590) for a family niche [the space which holds the cremation urns] which will be reserved for a hundred years.

Niches can be passed down to relatives within the hundred years.

Burial of ashes varies in price across the UK, but typically costs around £1,000 ($1,300) for a plot in a cemetery.

Neolithic barrows are essentially earth mounds that were erected over stone structures, which acted as collective tombs.

The ancient burial chambers have not been widely used in Britain since around 2,000 BC.

Toby Angel, managing director of Sacred Stones, the firm behind the project, said: 'We've worked with academics from Cambridge University and understand barrows were an integral part of community life.

'They would have been a theatre for union, creation and of course a sacred space to venerate their dead.

'We are echoing what community meant to our early ancestors by providing these unique venues.'

'The build is exciting. People came, saw and decided it was for them, expressing the desire to play a part in the construction of their niches.'

He said some 20-25 per cent of niches in the first chamber are already taken.

There are 390 niches within the Soulton Long Barrow. Each is lit by candlelight.

The barrow, covered by rich with wild flowers and meadow grass, will house cremation ashes and will provide a cheaper and more secular alternative venue for funerals


Inspired by those built by prehistoric ancestors 5,000 years ago, the space is made entirely by hand using natural limestone, lime mortar and traditional techniques

Pictured is the inside of the Shropshire barrow, where people can place their ashes. Barrows were traditionally built for the social elite while ordinary citizens were cremated or buried

'It's a deeply spiritual experience to visit these places and offers a much more wholesome experience for what is a very important life ritual,' he said.

Barrows were traditionally built for the social elite, while ordinary citizens were cremated or buried.

The looming earth-and-stone burial chambers were first constructed around 4,000 BC with the best-known site at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk.

Mr Ashton, who owns the land where the barrow now sits, said: 'We have been bowled-over by the support offered by our community. It is truly humbling.

'We knew this would provide much needed support for people at a difficult time in their lives, and this has been evidenced by the number of families who've chosen to use the barrow.'

According to the Sacred Stones website, there is no limit to the number of ashes that can be placed inside each niche within the chamber.


Pictured is a view of the roof of the barrow as seen from inside the complex. Barrows were first constructed in Britain about 4,000 BC with the best-known site at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk



Pictured are some of the amazing views of the Milky Way captured by photographer Andrew Fusek Peters (right). The Soulton Long Barrow in Shropshire is only the third of its kind to be opened in modern times as an ancient solution to the lack of burial space in Britain. Pictured (left) is a picture of a barrow on the Sacred Stones website


There are 390 niches within the Soulton Long Barrow. Each is lit by candlelight. Housing ashes inside the structure costs around £750 ($970) for an individual, and £5,850 ($7,590) for a family. Pictured is a wicker coffin in one of the barrows

WILTSHIRE AND ITS NEOLITHIC BURIAL CHAMBERS

Wiltshire is strewn with Neolithic burial mounds, or barrows, dating back to the new stone age period, beginning about 10,200 BC and ending between 4,500 and 2,000 BC.

They were constructed using vast sarsen stones or wooden posts and then covered with mud, soil and grass.

West Kennet Long Barrow, six miles from Daw's barrow at All Cannings, is one of the largest, measuring 330 feet long. Excavations suggest work began on the tomb, which has five sarsen stone chambers, in 3,600 BC - some 400 years before Stonehenge was begun.

East Kennet Long Barrow is the largest in Britain, a wedge-shaped burial chamber measuring 348 feet long. It is believed to have been open for several centuries before being sealed up.

Lanhill Long Barrow, near Chippenham, is a late Neolithic long barrow which was found to contain the remains of several people from the same family, ranging in age from 12 months to 60 years.

Beckhampton Long Barrow, near Avebury, is one of the oldest known barrows in the country, dating back to around 3,200 BC. Its two ends have been ploughed away and destroyed, but the remains of one of the Beaker folk, migrants into Britain in 2,500 BC who were notable for the beaker shape of their pottery, have been found in the barrow.

Silbury Hill, a vast chalk mound 16 miles (26 kilometres) from Stonehenge, is not strictly a barrow but is a man-made mound from the same, Neolithic period and can be seen from many of the barrows that post-date it. Despite various attempts to excavate it over the years, and despite a common assumption over the years that it must be a burial mound, its purpose is still a mystery.

Source: Wiltshire Web



Prices range from £750 to £5,850 for a family niche [the space which holds the cremation urns] which will be be reserved for a hundred years


https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...bury-dead.html
Last edited by Blackleaf; Sep 9th, 2018 at 11:14 AM..