THE FASCINATING history of 4,000-year-old burial mounds outside Whitehill Village Hall has been revealed with the installation of two new information boards.
The countryside around Whitehill & Bordon has a high concentration of such Bronze Age barrows - or high status burial mounds - yet many new residents may not be aware of their existence. Now that heritage is being celebrated with the information boards that were instigated and created by the Woolmer Forest Heritage Society and describe not only the origins of the barrows but also other points of historical interest in the area.
Dr Chris Wain, chair of the heritage society, said: "With all the new homes in the town, the society hopes these boards will start to give the incoming residents a sense of place with our rich heritage in the area.
The boards were installed by the Deadwater Valley Trust on the Green Loop, a network of footways and cycle paths connecting key destinations in and around Whitehill & Bordon. They were paid for by a £1,120 hand-out from the devolved grant of former Hampshire County Councillor and current East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) chairman Adam Carew.
Mr Carew said: "The two grassy mounds outside Whitehill Village Hall are actually Bronze Age burial sites called round barrows or tumuli and are more than 4,000 years old.
"These would have probably been for a clan chief who would have been cremated.
"They were designed to be highly visible in the landscape and would have been a very sacred place as well as acting as territorial markers of the local tribes’ land ownership."
Despite their importance, such barrows hardly ever contain anything more than ash and charcoal, added Mr Carew.
He said: "The interpretation boards are not only a celebration of Whitehill’s history and sense of place but are part of a package of measures to help protect the barrows including double yellow lines from EHDC and double curbing from Hampshire County Council as well as the new section of our town’s Green Loop for walking and cycling."
A further board detailing the front barrow will be erected next year.
Bronze Age barrows are protected under the 1979 Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act. It is a criminal offence to dig into them, erode them, park on them or use metal detectors.