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MOEL Y GOLFA, ROMANY MONUMENT TO ERNEST BURTON

Site Details



NPRN 407823

Map Reference SJ21SE

Grid Reference SJ2903512511

Unitary (Local) Authority Powys

Old County Montgomeryshire

Community Trewern

Type of Site COMMEMORATIVE MONUMENT

Broad Class COMMEMORATIVE, RELIGIOUS RITUAL AND FUNERARY

Period 20th Century

Site Description A 1963 memorial to the Romany Cell Ernest Burton, who bred horses and traded horses and cattle in the area, by his son, the fighter Uriah Burton (aka ‘Hughie’ or ‘Big Just’). The monument is roughly 3.7m in height constructed of three huge blocks of Devon granite weighing, from bottom to top, roughly twelve-and-a-half, ten and five tonnes. It is surrounded by iron railings. Permission was given by the landowner to erect the monument, but owing to the desired specifications and difficulty of the terrain the contractors consulted by the family felt the task was insurmountable. It was therefore erected by Uriah and Hosiah (aka ‘Oathy’) Burton, Ernest’s sons, themselves with the assistance of relatives, friends, and associates from throughout Britain, many of them reportedly under duress.

Near the top on the south-west face of the monument is an inscription reading, ‘THIS MOUMENT WAS ERECTED IN REMEMBRANCE / TO / ERNEST BURTON, ROMANY CHELL / WHO WAS CREMATED AT CHORLTON-CUM-HARDY 1960 / HIS WIFE DORA WAS INTERRED 1956 / HIS WISH WAS FOR HIS ASHES TO BE SCATTERED ON THIS MOUNTAIN TOP. / THIS MEMORIAL WAS ERECTED BY HIS SONS AND FRIENDS.’ After the death of Uriah Burton in 1986, a plaque was added lower down and on the south-east face reading, ‘THIS MONUMENT WAS ERECTED / IN MEMORY OF HIS FATHER BY / URIAH BURTON, ROMANY CHELL, / Better known as HUGHIE or BIG JUST / DIED 5th NOVEMBER 1986 / HIS WISH WAS FOR HIS ASHES TO BE SPREAD ON THIS MOUNTAIN / URIAH WAS A FIGHTER FOR THE WEAK, GOOD TO THE POOR / TEACHER TO THE IGNORANT, AND A TRUE LEGEND IN HIS OWN TIME / HE WAS KNOWN AND RESPECTED BY ALL GYPSIES AND CREEDS / HE WAS NEVER BEATEN IN FISTY CUFFS FROM THE AGE OF FIVE TO SIXTY / A MAN WHO LED HIS PEOPLE INTO THE TWENTIETH CENTURY / HE WAS A GOOD HUSBAND, FATHER, AND GRANDAD / AND WAS TRULY LOVED BY ALL HIS FAMILY.’

(Sources: The People, 11.1963)
A.N.Coward
RCAHMW, 08.06.2018

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Archive Records