Whitfield's Tump: a long barrow on Minchinhampton Common


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.

Stroud (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SO 85391 01707

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.

Whitfield's Tump long barrow survives comparatively well and, despite an area of localised disturbance at the south-eastern end possibly caused by a previous unrecorded excavation, contains archaeological and environmental evidence relating both to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. It is considered an integral part of a complex of earthworks on Minchinhampton Common representing the development of a landscape from the prehistoric period to the present day.


The monument includes a long barrow orientated north-west to south-east and located on Minchinhampton Common. It is visible as a barrow mound 26m long by 15m wide and ranging in height from c.0.2m to c.1.3m high at its highest point. There is an area of disturbance at the south-eastern end of the barrow mound, possibly caused by a previous unrecorded excavation. A round mound at the south-eastern end is thought to be a spoil heap resulting from this excavation. Although no longer visible at ground level, two parallel ditches from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument, lie on either side of the barrow mound to the north-east and the south-west. These have become infilled over the years but survive as buried features c.3m wide. The long barrow gains its name from the tradition that George Whitfield preached from the mound in 1743.

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:


Books and journals
Russett, V, Report on the Archaeology of Minchinhampton Common, (1990)
Playne, (1872)
Title: Source Date: 1969 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: OS Record Card


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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