Tynwald Hill and the round mounds of the Isle of Man

Authors: Darvill, T.

Editors: Leary, J. and Field, D.

Pages: 53-71

Publisher: Oxbow Books

Place of Publication: Oxford

ISBN: 978-1-84217-404-3


Leaving aside a rich selection of Bronze Age round barrows, Viking Age burial mounds, and early medieval mottes spread right across the Isle of Man, there is a recognizable tradition of using round mounds as the outwardly visible cover-structure for a variety of burial monuments during the fourth and third millennia BC. The Island was not one of the areas considered by Ian Kinnes in his original study of round barrows and ring-ditches in the British Neolithic (Kinnes 1979), although seven sites are identified on maps included in a later study. Amongst these certain and probable Neolithic monuments with round mounds are examples with multiple megalithic cists, a range of passage graves, an entrance grave, and also the great stepped mound of Tynwald Hill, the traditional ancient meeting place of the Island’s parliament.

The Isle of Man is relatively small at 572 square kilometres, but its situation in the middle of the Irish Sea places it at a crossing-point in the pattern of north-south and east-west seaways and gives it a special interest as a cultural melting pot. In this paper the Neolithic round barrows and related monuments are reviewed within two broad but culturally meaningful chronological phases, and suggests that the morphology and what is known of the archaeology of these sites shows affinities with similar monuments elsewhere in the Irish Sea province and beyond.


Source: Manual

Preferred by: Timothy Darvill