Mount Pleasant Barrow

Plan of Mount Pleasant Barrow

Site plan Mount Peasant Barrow

: Point on the layout is at E498630 N153347.  The OS Ancient Monument symbol is at E498643 N153339.  The distance between these two points is 17.2 metres.  The site coordinates were loaded into the hand-held GPS, and the site of the symbol was located in rough ground on Whitmoor Common. There was no evidence of any earthworks at this point, but upon walking 17 metres to the north-west to locate the layout coordinates, a faint outline of a circular bank could be seen beneath open birch and oak trees.

Mt Pleasant from NW

View from north-west

The above photograph shows the site in the middle distance, lying on the edge of the higher ground with the lower open and boggy ground covered by wetland grasses on the left.

Mt Pleasant N from E

View north from the  east

The bank is clearly defined on the south side and visible as a green moss growth along the ridge contrasting with the brown leaf-strewn ground on either side. The northern side is very poorly defined. The circle is some seven metres in diameter and is dished in the centre (right side of the photograph behind the tree) about half a metre below the rim level. The outside of the visible bank is about a quarter of a metre lower than the rim.

Mt Pleasant E from S

View east from south

The bank extending from the bottom left and along through the rucksack on the ground. The dished area is on the centre-left.  There is some heavily silted indentation which could indicate a surrounding ditch towards the edge of the wetland grasses beyond the rucksack.

Mount Pleasant looking towards north-east

The ranging rods are on the rim of the circular bank with a dished area in the centre.  Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to show this in photographs.

The surrounding ground was inspected to a radius of some thirty metres, but no sign of any change to the original ground form could be seen apart from the slight dip of well-worn paths.

Leslie Grinsell (1907-1995) was an amateur archaeologist and a prolific recorder of the prehistoric monuments of south-east England, especially the bronze-age barrows. Between 1931 and 1934, he visited and documented all the known barrows in Surrey. His paper ‘An Analysis and List of Surrey Barrows’ to the Surrey Archaeological Society makes fascinating reading. He records both barrows on Whitmoor Common, describing the Mount Pleasant Barrow as small, 45 feet in diameter (13.7m) and one to two feet high. He describes it as hollow in the centre and very dilapidated with a slight trace of a surrounding ditch. This barrow may have been opened by Pitt-Rivers and yielded three bucket urns. It is not certain whether these urns containing burnt bones were primary or deposited later as secondary burials. These pottery urns are in the Pitt-Rivers Museum in Oxford.

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