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March 2008 - Taplow village near Maidenhead

Reconstruction of Taplow Saxon barrowReconstruction of the burial chamber in the barrowTaplow is thought to be named after a Saxon chief called Taeppa, who lived and was buried there. In 1883 what is thought to be his burial mound was excavated. A wealth of goods were placed with this man on his death and only the later finds at Sutton Hoo and Prittlewell have surpassed the richness of this grave. Later, the site was Christianised by the construction of a church, but the burial mound has outlived the church (demolished in the 19th century) and can still be seen in the old churchyard next to Taplow Court.

 

The walls of the former church have caused parchmarks in the grassOne of the huge ditches of the Bronze Age hillfort under excavationWhat has also become apparent in recent excavations is that the promontory that the burial mound is on the southern extremity of, was fortified in prehistory from the Late Bronze Age and into the Iron Age. Excavations within the grounds of Taplow Court for a Butsuma (Buddhist chanting hall) uncovered the remains of massive palisade and bank and ditch defences. These were probably still visible when the Saxon burial mound was constructed over 1000 years later.

 

Today you can visit the burial mound and several other places in Taplow (see our visitor guide) and look out for open days at Taplow Court.