Hetty Pegler's Tump
Neolithic Chambered Long Barrow
North of Uley, Gloucestershire OS Map Ref SO789000
OS Maps - Landranger 162 (Gloucester & Forest of Dean), Explorer 168 (Stroud, Tetbury & Malmesbury)
Storm clouds gathering above the barrow - Hetty Pegler's Tump in its landscape
||Named after Hester
Peggler, the 17th century wife of the landowner, this is a wonderful place to
visit, situated as it is on a narrow southwest spur of land in a peaceful corner
of a farmers field overlooking the vales of Berkeley and Severn and the Cotswold
Way. Like so many chambered
long barrows in this area, it lies east to west with an eastern forecourt
leading to internal chambers. It is however more ovoid than many, measuring 36
metre by 25 metres although it appears from a distance to be circular.
Passing through the deep forecourt and crawling through the 2 upright stones supporting a huge lintel takes you into what is referred to as a 'transepted gallery grave'. This is a 7 metre passage with a pair of chambers on either side (like the transepts of a church). The 2 northern chambers were destroyed in 1821 during quarrying for road building material when the barrow was thought to be a natural mound. Subsequent investigations during that year and again in 1854 revealed the bodies of around 23 people. The 2 southern chambers are however accessible, as is the end of the passage which is blocked off to form yet another chamber, the whole construction being of large slabs of stone (including the roof which is made up of overlapping slabs) infilled with drystone walling.
When visiting this site one feels removed from the modern world, despite it standing only a short distance from the B4066, as does Nympsfiled barrow only a mile away. This feeling is compounded when sitting by torchlight deep within the solitude and silence of the tomb. The overwhelming impression is not however one of death and finality that one may feel at other similar monuments, but of life, rebirth and continuation The skylarks twitter overhead, as they must have done some 6000 years ago during the Neolithic when the tomb was built, the sun rises and sets and the cycle of life continues.
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