Long Stones long barrow 150m north of Beckhampton House


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.

Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 08705 69145

Reasons for Designation

A small number of areas in southern England appear to have acted as foci for ceremonial and ritual activity during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age periods. Two of the best known and earliest recognised, with references in the 17th century, are around Avebury and Stonehenge, now jointly designated as a World Heritage Site. In the Avebury area, the henge monument itself, the West Kennet Avenue, the Sanctuary, West Kennet long barrow, Windmill Hill causewayed enclosure and the enigmatic Silbury Hill are well-known. Whilst the other Neolithic long barrows, the many Bronze Age round barrows and other associated sites are less well-known, together they define one of the most rich and varied areas of Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial and ritual monuments in the country. 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 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 of which fifteen survive in the Avebury area. These represent an important group for understanding the historical context within which Avebury developed during the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age periods; all are considered to be worthy of protection.

The Long Stones long barrow is a well preserved example of its class despite having been partially excavated and disturbed by cultivation. The barrow mound survives to its original height and the ditches can be observed as partially infilled, but distinct, earthworks. The barrow will contain both archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction and function of the monument, as well as evidence of the former land use in this part of the Avebury region. Along with the nearby South Street long barrow, this monument provided an important focus for Neolithic and later funerary activity including the development of the nearby Beckhampton Bronze Age round barrow cemetery.


The monument includes a Neolithic long barrow aligned north east to south west and situated on a gentle east-facing slope, 300m south west of the South Street long barrow. The barrow mound has been slightly disturbed by cultivation in the past but survives as an impressive earthwork which measures 84m long and 35m wide. The mound stands up to 6m high and is flanked to the north and south by quarry ditches which provided material for the construction of the mound. These have become partially infilled over the years owing to cultivation but survive as slight earthworks c.24m wide and 84m long with a depth of c.0.6m. The barrow was partially excavated by Merewether between 1820 and 1850. He discovered evidence of a Bronze Age cremation burial contained in a 'Deverel- Rimbury' style pottery urn and a piece of bronze which was probably part of a dagger. The urn is now located in the Devizes Museum.

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
Grinsell, L V, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire, (1957)
SU 06 NE 107, CAO, Mutilated Long Barrow, (1989)
SU 06 NE 151, CAO, Secondary LBA Cremation, (1989)
SU 06 NE 75, RCHM(E), Avebury 17, (1973)


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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