TM2446 : Tumulus on Portal Way, Martlesham Heath

taken 9 years ago, near to Martlesham Heath, Suffolk, Great Britain

Tumulus on Portal Way, Martlesham Heath
Tumulus on Portal Way, Martlesham Heath
This tumulus is one of the few in this area to have survived destruction during the building of the RAF airfield at Martlesham Heath. It is tucked away in a small plot of land between houses on the north-east side of Portal Road, opposite Suffolk Police HQ. The area is badly overgrown, and it is quite difficult to make out the shape and size of the mound - the mound itself seems to be covered at this time of year by a carpet of dead bracken, brambles and gorse. One can, however, get some idea of the height of the extant mound (perhaps 2 -3 metres?) by comparing the bases of the two silver birch in the middle background of the photo - one grows out on the top of the mound, and the other (closer to the viewer) rests on normal ground level. A survey from 1962 (see the Pastscape record via the web link below) shows that nothing much has changed in 50 years: "A large bowl barrow situated on the edge of Martlesham Airfield and much mutilated by slit trenches, etc. The mound has a diameter of 30.5 m and is about 2.0m high. It is bracken-and-bramble covered and has fir trees growing upon it." This is probably what the world-famous Anglo-Saxon burial mounds at nearby Sutton Hoo looked like before they were cleaned up in the 1980s (see Sutton Hoo, Burial Ground of Kings? by Martin Carver). The status of the small patch of land (no bigger than about 20 by 40 metres) on which the mound is sited is unclear - there is a metal fence by the side of the road, but there is also a stile in the fence, so presumably public access is permitted (although it is almost impossible to closely approach the mound itself because of the depth of dead foliage covering the ground). For further information on this ancient monument see the entry on LinkExternal link
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TM2446, 135 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Saturday, 10 April, 2010   (more nearby)
Monday, 9 August, 2010
Tumulus   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TM 242 461 [100m precision]
WGS84: 52:4.1140N 1:16.2193E
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TM 241 461
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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