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The British countryside is home to thousands of ancient burial sites. Stonehenge is famous for its beautiful Bronze Age round barrows, and the mysterious long barrow at West Kennet once held the remains of dozens of ancient Britons. But what about a 21st century burial barrow? Sacred Stones is building a series of ‘ancient’ colombaria across England. The first – at Willow Row in Cambridge – is a round barrow with 345 hand-crafted niches containing cremation urns. Each niche holds between one and five urns, is made of Portland Stone and sealed with beeswax. This is the first round barrow built in Britain for 3,500 years. “Our barrows are here to serve the community,” explains Sacred Stones’ Toby Angel. “They are places for quiet contemplation and to mourn those who have passed – a timeless way of remembering a life.”
The price of a niche starts at £2,000 and the first project has proved so popular that Sacred Stones is building a second barrow in Hertfordshire, with plans for further chambers in Hampshire and Shropshire. Angel hopes to build a burial barrow in every county of England, each with a different design. “A key part of the Sacred Stones project is the preservation of ancient crafts,” says Angel. “The masonry skills involved are way beyond basic dry stone walling and we have apprentices who are learning trades on the job so that these traditional techniques will not be lost”. For more information go to www.sacredstones.co.uk Travel back in time to visit an ancient burial barrow.