Sacred and Ancient Celtic Sites

Seven Kings Barrows

The Seven Kings of Sorrow

In the halls of Ar Anwas dwell the seven Kings of Sorrow
Deep in their slumber they lie, deep sleep, deep dream,
And from those dreams leak shapes into our world
That haunt like shadows the cloaking forest
About the barrows of Ar Anwas that do unquiet lie.

Here lie the seven whose names be never uttered
For fear that of their speaking might they hear,
That if they be but called, so might they answer
And plague once more the middle realm of men.
From out the barrows of Ar Anwas that do unquiet lie.

Seven they were, seven rulers, seven kings,
Descendents of the first amongst their number,
Each despot yet more cruel than was the king before,
An ancient crown that rested there on seven brows of evil blood.
Still lies within the barrows of Ar Anwas that do unquiet lie.

Upon the barrow once was there a hall,
And in that oaken hall, an ebon throne
Upon which sat the king who for his councilors
Would listen to the whispers of the dead
That rot within the barrows of Ar Anwas that do unquiet lie.

And as the hot blood soaked into the ground
Stains deep the earth that nothing there may grow
But yields in violent blossoms petals raw and red
As murder poppies that spring forth from the decay
Within the barrows of Ar Anwas that do unquiet lie.

So has the wickedness of seven kings,
A dynasty of death and bloody deeds
So drenched the barrow of their seat of old
That, though fief, hall and throne be gone now, passed away
Above the barrows of Ar Anwas that do unquiet lie.

So still may life or unlife stir once more
Within the shrunken breasts of those who death
Itself may care not call these as its own,
The seven Kings of Sorrow that remain
Within the barrows of Ar Anwas that do unquiet lie.




If other parts of England lay claim to be the heart of the country then Runnymede is undoubtedly its soul. It was at Runnymede Meadows beside the Thames, on 15 June 1215, that King John met his barons to discuss their grievances and, in order to prevent a civil war, agreed to seal a Great Charter (Magna Carta). In its principles and subsequent interpretations this was to have a profound and significant influence on rights and freedoms, not only in England, but across much of the civilised world.

Immediately before the meeting the King was at his castle at Windsor, while his rebel barons were encamped nearby at Staines. Runnymede lay halfway between and offered a wide, open area with ample space for each side's armies, tents and horses. The rebellion of the barons forced King John to grant them protection from certain injustices, but in doing so, Magna Carta embodied the principle that both the King and the barons were bound by law in the exercise of power and this gave the Charter a far wider and enduring significance. The document we know as Magna Carta has long been the most potent symbol of freedom under the law for Western Civilisation.


"No free man shall be ... imprisoned or ... outlawed ... except by the lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to no one wil we deny or delay right or justice."

These principles were exported to the United States of America and it was the American Bar Association which erected the memorial on the site. This is maintained by the Magna Carta Trust whose chairperson is the Master of the Rolls, one of the leading figures in the English judicial system.

Today, the majority of the meadows beside the Thames belong to the National Trust and are visited by thousands of people throughout the year. The Thames is broad, calm and peaceful here; there is little commercial traffic on the river apart from cruise boats, and the varied attractions close at hand draw visitors from all over the world. Many come to see the Memorial commemorating the men and women of the Commonwealth Air Forces killed in World War II, who have no known grave. From its position on Coopers Hill, above the river, it commands splendid views over the Thames Valley. In the meadows below stand the Magna Carta Memorial set up by the American Bar Association and the Magna Carta Trust. Nearby, the Kennedy Memorial stands in its own acre of land, given by the people of Britian to the USA, honouring the memory of the assassinated President. A little piece of America by the Thames.



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