The company behind a Neolithic-style burial chamber in Hail Weston has been awarded its first industry accolade from the Good Funeral Guide.
Willow Row, which opened in October last year, is the first columbarium, a storage facility for cremation ashes, to have received the award, and the venue is the only available hand-crafted monument of its type in the UK.
The barrow is a modern interpretation of ancient burial mounds commonly used by communities many thousands of years ago. It is a round structure covered in soil. Sacred Stones, the company behind the project, say they are echoing what these venues would have meant to native Britons for thousands of years.
Sacred stones managing director, Toby Angel, said: “Think of them as the pre-cursor to village halls or parish churches. They were, and remain, incredibly important venues for individuals and communities to celebrate life. What we’ve established is a venue that furnishes a natural emotion and need in all of us”.
Fran Hall, from the Good Funeral Guide, added: “The creation of the structure and the sense of timelessness that the barrow imbues is unlike any other site we have visited, and the ethos of the company and the custodians alike mean that this barrow is somewhere of great significance.
“Willow Row feels like it was always there, it has settled into the landscape and blended into the background and it has a feeling of permanence and safety.”
Opened in late October last year, the public engaged with Willow Row immediately, with niches being purchased by those at the point of need, couples planning for their own use, and by families who hadn’t found the perfect resting place for their loved ones.