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Burial mounds

 There are several bronze age burial mounds in the vicinity of Chewton Mendip. The most prominent  one is at the top of Chew Hill and Kings Hill. One possibility for the name of Kings hill is that a legend developed that a ‘king’ was buried in the mound or mounds.There are a large number of burial mounds in the area. They are often on top of hills and it is believed that this was a statement of possession of the land.
 There may have been a neolithlic track running east-west linking the stone circles at nearby Stanton Drew with the world famous Stone Henge.Some people suggest that only the bones or ashes were interred.
 Some societies still practice ‘sky burials’ were the dead are exposed to the elements to be de-fleshed by nature. This may appear to be gruesome and disrespectful to us but so was cremation until the lack of space in graveyards made it necessary.
 This is linked to the theory that Chewton Mendip evolved around Chew head (Option A), a place of life, which was connected to two places of death.
 One theory is that there was once a long barrow like the one at Stoney Stratton that was cut in two to allow a road to go through it.Another possibility is that there were two or more burial mounds.
Church tower between moundsThis view shows how the church tower can be seen through the gap between the two mounds. It is tempting to make all sorts of religiously inspired comments about the symbolism of this view. What this image does not show is the width of the gap between the two mounds which is too wide for a medieval road. There may have been a track that went between the mound but early road builders would have gone round such an obsticle.
 Lower MoundThe uninspiring mound in the centre of this picture is another burial mound down in the valley at the end of Wheatfield Lane. It is a reasonable assumption that there was a track that linked the two burial sites. It is known that the modern road was built-in the 18th century but before that the parishes were responsible for the roads that ran through them. That is why the roads were so bad because the people who were responsible for their upkeep had little motivation to build good roads or maintain them.
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