Symonds Hall long barrow
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1002113
Date first listed: 01-Jan-1900
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Stroud (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: ST 79706 95972
Long cairn 740m east of Symond’s Hall Farm.
Reasons for Designation
Long cairns were constructed as elongated rubble mounds and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic periods (c.3400-2400 BC). They represent the burial places of Britain's early farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, long cairns appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the human remains having been selected for interment. Long cairns sometimes display evidence of internal structural arrangements, including stone-lined compartments and tomb chambers constructed from massive slabs. Some examples also show edge-set kerb stones bounding parts of the cairn perimeter. Certain sites provide evidence for several phases of funeral activity preceding construction of the cairn, and consequently it is probable that long cairns acted as important ritual sites for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 examples of long cairns and long barrows, their counterparts in central and eastern England, are recorded nationally. As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive as a visible monument and due to their comparative rarity, their considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all positively identified long cairns are considered to be important.
Despite partial early excavation the long cairn 740m east of Symond’s Hall Farm survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, territorial significance, social organisation, funerary and ritual practices and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 24 September 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes a long cairn situated on the summit of a prominent Cotswold ridge between the heads of the valleys of the Marlees Brook and a tributary to the Little Avon River and close to the source of the former. The long cairn survives as a stony rectangular mound aligned from north east to south west measuring up to 82m long, 34m wide and 1.7m high with its side ditches preserved as buried features. A central hollow in the top of the mound is the result of partial excavation in c.1780.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: GC 276
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing