Cedars Road, Clapham, Surrey

Tumulus (possible):  OS Grid Reference – TQ 2856 7555

Also Known as:

  1. Mount Nod

Archaeology & History

Located on the old boundary line between Clapham and Battersea, what might have been a forgotten tumulus, whose memory was thankfully preserved by the renowned folklorist and historian Walter Johnson (1903), was described in his work on prehistoric Surrey.  He seemed to think it serious enough to add to his survey, where he told us that,

“there still exists, near Cedars Road, Clapham, what may possibly be a round barrow.  It is in the garden of a house opposite St. Saviour’s Church, and is visible to anyone passing along the old, narrow passage called Wix’s Lane.  Mr. J.W. Grover, who brought the matter before the Archaeological Association in 1884, had been struck by the discovery that old maps marked the spot ‘Mount Nod Fields.’  …The mound must originally have been 70 or 80 feet across, but had been tampered with on one side for the construction of an ice-house.  Mr. Grover suggested that the mound may be of Celtic date.  To us, the height—some 12 feet or more—together with marked signs of reconstruction at a comparatively modern date, indicate the necessity of withholding judgment. The original tumulus may simply have been increased in height, but…digging alone could settle the question.”

Local historian Michael Green (2010) has found that there were prehistoric tombs on Clapham Common only 500 yards away, so this one along Cedar Road was not in isolation.  Is the site named on the boundary perambulation records?  Has it been explored since Johnson wrote about it and, if so, has its veracity as a prehistoric tomb been ascertained, or is it merely the remains of some post-medieval creation?

References:

  1. Green, Michael, “Mount Pond, Clapham Common: Archaeology and History“, Clapham Society Local History Series, 2010.
  2. Grover, J.W., “Mount Nod, Clapham,” in Journal of the Archaeological Association, volume 40, 1884.
  3. Johnson, Walter, Neolithic Man in North-East Surrey, Elliot Stock: London 1903.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

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