'Giant's Grave' long barrow on Milton Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1005694

Date first listed: 10-Mar-1925


Ordnance survey map of 'Giant's Grave' long barrow on Milton Hill
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Milton Lilbourne

National Grid Reference: SU 18917 58208


Long barrow called Giant’s Grave 780m north-west of Milton Hill Farm.

Reasons for Designation

Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic periods (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 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 important. Despite early partial excavation the long barrow called Giant’s Grave 780m north west of Milton Hill Farm survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, territorial significance, the social organisation of its builders, funerary and ritual practices and its overall landscape context.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 25 June 2015. This 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. As such they do not yet have the full descriptions of their modernised counterparts available. Please contact us if you would like further information.

This monument includes a long barrow situated on the upper south western slopes of a prominent ridge called Milton Hill immediately overlooking a very steeply sloping dry valley. The long barrow survives as an elongated mound aligned north east to south west and measuring up to 101m long, 21m wide and 2.5m high at the north east end, 14m wide and 1.2m high at the south west end, with the northern flanking ditch visible as a 5m wide and up to 0.5m deep feature and the southern ditch being completely buried. In the centre of the northern side of the mound is a 28m long and 1.2m high outward protuberance and the top of the mound has several 1m deep excavation pits. It was partly excavated in 1865 when a primary deposit including up to four skeletons was discovered with a leaf shaped flint arrowhead close by.

Other archaeological remains survive in the immediate vicinity some are scheduled separately but others are not included because they have not been formally assessed.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: WI 92

Legacy System: RSM - OCN


PastScape 220093
Wiltshire HER SU15NE103

End of official listing