Stoney Littleton long barrow


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Bath and North East Somerset (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 73492 57208

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 long barrows are recorded in England. 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.

Despite partial excavation, the Stoney Littleton long barrow survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. This barrow is one of the better known and most striking examples of a group of long barrows commonly referred to as the Cotswold Severn group, named after the region in which they occur.


The monument includes a chambered long barrow situated on a limestone outcrop overlooking the valley of the Wellow Brook to the north and west. Known variously as the Stoney Littleton long barrow and the Bath Tumulus, the barrow has a long mound which is orientated from north west to south east, is of trapezoidal plan and has maximum dimensions of 30m long, 12.5m wide and c.2m high. The mound is composed of small stones and has a restored dry stone wall running around its perimeter. The south eastern end of the mound is twice the width of the north western terminal, and the wider end is also associated with a recessed forecourt which leads into an inner chamber. The forecourt has dimensions of 3m by 3.2m and its boundaries are flanked by dry stone walling which extends to the entrance of the inner chamber. The entrance appears as a lintel supported by two jambs; it is 1.1m high and faces towards the south east. The internal chamber includes a transepted gallery grave associated with three pairs of side chambers and an end chamber. The gallery extends for 12.8m and varies in height from 1.2m to 1.8m. Human bones were recovered from within the chambers during excavations conducted by Skinner in 1816. The barrow's mound is flanked on each side by a quarry ditch from which material was taken during the construction of the monument. These have become infilled over the years, but survive as buried features c.3m wide. The monument has been in State care since 1884. Excluded from the scheduling are the iron railings and entrance gate surrounding the periphery of the mound, together with the public notice board situated to the west of the mound but the underlying ground is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Details of restoration by Joliffe,
Details of Skinner`s excavations,
Placename associations,


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

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