Jurby’s Viking Mound


dsc01248 View of the mound from the south, with another mound visible on the nearby hill

How many places can you see the surviving traces of early medieval burial mounds within churchyards?

‘Not many’ is the answer. In fact, apart from the famous early 7th-century princely mound at Taplow, Buckinghamshire, and the likely mounds within St Materiana’s churchyard, Tintagel, Cornwall, which might date back to the Early Middle Ages. I don’t think I’ve visited any other churchyards with demonstrably early medieval burial monuments visible above the surface for visitors to see.

There are a fair number of churches associated with prehistoric monuments, as at Ogbourne St Andrew (Wiltshire), Stanton Drew (Somerset) or Rudston (Yorkshire). This association might reveal a connection of early medieval funerary and ceremonial reuse behind the association which might have involved the raising of new burial mounds in their earliest, 7th-century, phase. As at Ripon, we see…

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