A Neolithic funerary monument dating to 3800 - 2400 BC.
Reasons for Designation
The Coberley long barrow is scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Survival: the barrow survives comparatively well and is likely to contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, social organisation and funerary/ritual practices. There is a presumption in favour of scheduling when long barrows survive to any substantive degree, as is the case here;
* Potential: despite early excavations the barrow has the potential to yield further information using modern techniques.
* Date/Rarity: long barrows can generally be assigned to the earlier part of the Neolithic timescale, being the earliest of the barrow types and are rare nationally.
Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic periods (3800-2400 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 barrows appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the human remains having been selected for interment. Certain sites provide evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and, consequently, it is probable that long barrows acted as important ritual sites for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 examples of long barrows and long cairns, their counterparts in the uplands, are recorded nationally. As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive as earthworks, and due to their comparative rarity, their considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all long barrows are considered to be nationally important.
This monument includes a long barrow situated on the east facing slopes of a ridge overlooking the confluence of two tributaries of the River Churn. The barrow survives as a rectangular mound of uneven profile which measures up to 38m long, 12m wide and 3.2m high, with its side ditches preserved as entirely buried features. Partial early excavations allegedly produced the skeleton of a small male.