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Soulton Long Barrow
Soulton longbarrow just after dawn on summer solstice.jpg
Soulton Long Barrow just after dawn on the Summer Solstice 2020
Record height
General information
Status Complete
Architectural style Neoneolitic
Location Soulton, near Wem SY4 5RS
Coordinates 52°52′26″N 2°40′43″W / 52.8738°N 2.6786°W / 52.8738; -2.6786Coordinates: 52°52′26″N 2°40′43″W / 52.8738°N 2.6786°W / 52.8738; -2.6786
Construction started 2017
Completed December 2020
Opening 2018
Owner Soulton Hall
Design and construction
Architect Michele Gaffney (Architectural Designer)
Developer Sacred Stones
Structural engineer Jonathan Burke
Main contractor Riverdale Stone
The roof of Soulton Long Barrow
The roof of chamber 1 in the Soulton Long Barrow

The Soulton Long Barrow and Ritual Landscape is a modern memorial in the form of a long barrow in the Soulton landscape near Wem in Shropshire, England.

The barrow contains niches for the placement of cremation urns. It is also intended for wider celebration of life and community activity. The structure is a sequence of stone chambers under an earthen mound, and was begun in 2017, with a principal stone being laid in the spring of 2018, and an early stone being added by writer and historian Tom Holland.

Inspiration

The monument is inspired by Neolithic barrows built around 5,500 years ago, and following the constructions of the Long Barrow at All Cannings, Wiltshire and the Willow Row Barrow at St Neots, Cambridgeshire. It takes inspiration from among other monuments Bryn Celli Ddu, Barclodiad y Gawres, and Stoney Littleton Long Barrow. Developing the barrow involved collaboration with archaeologists at the University of Cambridge

The gate for the barrow was designed by Giles Smith, winner, in the Assemble Collective, of the 2015 Turner Prize.

The Barrow's first chamber was opened for use in summer 2018.

A second phase of the barrow's development was begun and completed in the winter of 2019.

Henge Amphitheater

Sanctuary Theatre Soulton Hall
"The Sanctuary Theatre" and the barrow seen in a performance by the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain

In 2020, partially as a response to the crisis in live performance and theatre resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, a hengeiform monument, called "The Sanctuary", an outdoor performance area was added in front of the barrow.

This was inaugurated by the National Youth Theatre, with their first live in person performance since the restrictions following the lockdown that was brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The play was a brand new work called "The Last Harvest".

Local parishes also made plans to use this space for community nativity events during the COVID-19 restrictions.

Soulton Standing Stones

Soulton Standing Stone One
Standing Stone One
Soulton Standing Stone Two
Standing Stone Two
Soulton Standing Stone Three
Standing Stone Three
The Soulton Standing Stones, erected in 2017

There is a sequence of standing stones, signaling the route to the barrow from Soulton Road.

Three megalithic limestone standing stones are located on the access route to the barrow.

These were added to the approach route to the barrow in autumn 2017.

The stone for these monoliths, as with the barrow itself, came from Churchfield Quarry, Oundle, near Peterborough.

There is no deliberate alignment beyond way-marking for these standing stones.

Covid Stone

In 2020, a standing stone, with an alignment to the setting sun on the winter solstice, was added to the ritual landscape to acknowledge the suffering of the families impacted by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Modern Henge Monument

In March 2020, plans were announced to build a modern henge monument close by the barrow.

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