Mysterious Tumulus at Halton West

At Halton West, near Hellifield, is an artificial hill. Almost certainly it is a tumulus- an ancient burial chamber. Who lies within it? Why did the mourners go to so much trouble? No-one knows. The 2008 archaeological report completed by Oxford Archaeology North says very little, concluding ‘no further work is recommended’. We shall probably never find more out. The local farmer notes that beneath the topsoil, there are river stones from the nearby Ribble. Its builders wanted it to stand forever, and their wish seems to have been granted. 

Did its occupant die in battle or ripe old age? Was he beloved or feared? Was he a just ruler or a tyrant? Was he a man or a woman? We know not. Like Job, he rests from his activity, awaiting God’s judgment.

Job 3: 

13 For now I would have lain still and been quiet,

I would have been asleep;

Then I would have been at rest

14 With kings and counsellors of the earth,

Who built ruins for themselves,

15 Or with princes who had gold,

Who filled their houses with silver;

16 Or why was I not hidden like a stillborn child,

Like infants who never saw light?

17 There the wicked cease from troubling,

And there the weary are at rest.

18 There the prisoners rest together;

They do not hear the voice of the oppressor.

19 The small and great are there,

And the servant is free from his master.