Congleton Swan Bank






























Barrows and burial mounds


Astbury Churchyard - Round Barrow

Condition: Destroyed

In 1931 Astbury churchyard was extended with a plot some distance from the church to the west of the main road from Congleton to Newcastle-under-Lyme. (pin 13) While digging a grave here for Elizabeth Clift ten years later, the sexton, unearthed a Bronze Age cinerary urn standing upright and containing some calcinated remains, four teeth and a small amount of charcoal. The find was reported immediately to the Parish Clerk, Mr Fred Cartlidge, resulting in the publication of a number of articles in the Congleton Chronicle and the urn and bones being deposited in the south porch of Astbury Church.

There was no trace of a mound on the spot where the urn was found, but it could easily have been ploughed or leveled in earlier years. The Reverend Gordon Cartlidge and Mr Fred Cartlidge reported that there appeared to be a brook running east and west to the south of the site. This was not visible from ground level, but when digging other graves, the ground became very damp about 7 to 8 feet down and there were numerous stones which seemed to form part of a stream bed. The mound material could therefore have been used to fill up the stream course.

The bones proved to be fragments of a skull and ribs, and were probably those of a female. The Collared Urn was decorated only on the top portion with ‘maggot’ impressed designs and a herring bone pattern. It was composed of a brownish-pink pottery and burnt black at the centre. Some more calcinated bones were found about five feet away when digging the adjacent grave.

A second Bronze Age urn filled with calcinated bones was discovered in the area and kept in a cupboard at Astbury School for many years. Unfortunately it was never adequately recorded and its present whereabouts are unknown.


M.H. Ridgway “Bronze Age Urn from Astbury, Cheshire”, TLCAS volume 59

Cheshire County Sites and Monuments Record

D.M.Longley “Prehistory” in C.R.Elrington (ed) “The Victoria History of the County of Chester, volume 1, Oxford University Press (1987)

Loachbrook Farm - Long Barrow

Condition: 3 (5 is best) Ambience: 3 Access: 5 (5 is best)

This suspected barrow is located close to the Loach Brook, 3km to the west of Congleton (pin 17) . Composing an earthen mound of circa 107m long by 25m wide it was discovered in 1973 and scheduled in 1975. No investigations have so far been carried out on the mound and as it is under grass its identification is difficult. Higham believes that it could perhaps be natural having 'glacial or fluvoglacial origins'.


Cheshire Archaeological Bulletin, volume iii, pg 60.

H.J. Higham “The Origins of Cheshire”, Manchester University Press (1993)

"Victoria History of the County of Cheshire", Oxford University Press (1987)

Note: Please note this barrow is located

Somerford Round Barrow - Round Barrow

Condition: 1 (5 is best)

This site was excavated in Somerford by David Wilson in 1984 (pin 18) . No trace of a tumulus was discovered, but the excavator concluded that if there was a mound it had probably been deliberately leveled in the 19th century. However, after ploughing a circle of sand did become visible. One unurned cremation, pottery from at least seven different types of pot and some flint were unearthed.


Cheshire County Sites and Monuments Record

D.M.Longley “Prehistory” in C.R.Elrington (ed) “The Victoria History of the County of Chester, volume 1, Oxford University Press (1987)

Swettenham Hall - Round Barrow

Condition: 1 (5 is best) Ambience: 1 Access: 5 (5 is best)

Only a small unploughed hump remains of this Bronze Age round barrow which can be found in the grounds of Swettenham Hall (pin 19) .

Note: Please note this barrow is located on private land but can be easily viewed from the road at the entrance to the Hall.

All of the above information was taken from The Megalithic Portal and has now been reproduced with the concent of the author. This and other information on the topic can be found in the book - Prehistoric Cheshire by Victoria and Paul Morgan, Landmark Publishing 2004 ISBN 1 84306140 6

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