Blackheath Barrow

Todmorden's Ancient Circle

Blackheath Barrow

One of the most prolific of Bronze Age sites locally was the Blackheath Barrow (though not strictly a barrow), constructed at 925ft above sea level above Cross Stone, near Todmorden.

It is still faintly visible as a henge-like earth circle 100 ft across, amidst the greens of a golf club, but it is probably invisible to any but the practised eye. Long known locally as the ‘Roman Barrow’, excavations in 1898 showed it to be Bronze Age in date. The bank was formed of rubble, into which various larger stones had been set at intervals, near each of which was an area of charcoal. Within the circle were uncovered several urns, two of which contained the remains of cremated bodies. Careful placement of deposits and stones was noted throughout the monument, including four semi-circular cairns, possibly kilns, at the cardinal points.

Blackheath Urn

The urns and certain other finds are on permanent public display at Todmorden Library.

A report of the excavation, by J Lawson Russell, appeared in H. Ling Roth’s 1906 book, 'The Yorkshire Coiners 1767 -1783, and notes on Old and Prehistoric Halifax', a book that can be found in some of Calderdale's libraries.

Search for the book on our Online library catalogue

Last Updated: 13/02/2015