Oliver Cromwell’s Hill, Eye, Cambridgeshire

Tumulus (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – TF 232 018

Archaeology & History

Very little was known about this now lost burial mound.  It was one of several nearby but, thankfully, the local historian and archaeologist E. Thurnam Leeds (who once lived at the nearby Eyebury Farm) sent a letter to the Society of Antiquaries in London, describing some pottery and other remains that he’d found there:

“The small pot of a late Bronze Age type and the other sherds exhibited were found in a tumulus known as Oliver Cromwell’s Hill, at Eyebury, near Peterborough.  As only a portion of the tumulus has been examined as yet, it is proposed to defer a full account of the excavations until further progres has been made.  The tumulus is of the round type, about 40 yards in diameter and 5 feet high at the centre.  On three sides traces of a ditch were met with, containing soil which had evidently been burnt.  Close to the gravel in the centre of the tumulus there were two distinct layers of charcoal, and in two places apparently remains of hearths.  The small pot was found only 1½ feet down on the south-eastern side of the mound, 39 feet from the centre.  In the centre itself at various depths were found sherds, some of Bronze Age forms; but a pice of a rimmed vase found at a depth of 3 feet 6 inches, about 6 inches above the first charcoal layer, appears to be of Roman date, in which case the centre of the tumulus must have been disturbed in those times, though the charcoal floors were never pierced.  Bones of various animals, including sheep, pig, dog and hare, and a large flint flake were also found.”

As far as I’m aware, no further detailed examinations took place at this curiously-named hillock, whose folktale I’ve yet to read.

References:

  1. Leeds, E.T., ‘Letter,’ in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, 22:1, 1910.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  52.600419, -0.181570 Oliver Cromwell\'s Hill

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