Farmer builds round barrows on farm as alternative funeral venue

A farmer has stepped into the funeral trade by opening his working farm up to be an alternative ash storage and funeral site.

Richard Beeby has set up the company Mid-England Barrow in the hopes of offering an end of life option which sits between quirky and traditional concepts.

A round barrow has been built on the farm, which is located on the Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire border, and is open to members of the public who are looking for an alternative place to store ashes or hold a funeral.

Round barrows or tumuli were first built in the UK around 5,000 years ago, and can be found all over the country, a number being sited around Stonehenge. They used to be erected over graves, but modern ones serve as individual niches for urns.

The niches are built into the walls of the barrows, then secured with personalised covers made from stone, glass or other materials. Each niche can hold up to five urns.

Construction of the barrow began on 11 March and it is expected to be completed in summer. Open days will be held and the company is currently taking reservations for ash storage.

Beeby said: “The modern barrow offers a final resting place of peace and tranquility, built from locally sourced stone, hand shaped to fit each and every spot. Inside its cool environment or aura, gives a breathtaking sense of mystery, and that rare feeling when a shiver goes down your spine.”

Sarah, co-owner of Mid-England Barrow, added: “Having paid our respects at a farmer friend’s non-religious funeral held at a crematorium, we decided a rural venue with the Barrow would be the basis of a new business for us.”

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