The Fairy Toot long barrow 350m SSW of Howgrove Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1008181
Date first listed: 16-Feb-1994
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Bath and North East Somerset (Unitary Authority)
Parish: Nempnett Thrubwell
District: North Somerset (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: ST 52056 61808
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 disturbance of the site, the Fairy Toot long barrow survives comparatively well and is known from partial excavation to contain archaeological and environmental remains relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. This is one of several long barrows in this area of Avon. Combined they will provide a detailed insight into the Neolithic occupation of the area.
The monument includes a chambered long barrow orientated north-south and
situated below the crest of a hill overlooking a tributary to the Congresbury
The barrow has a mound c.60m long, c.25m wide and up to c.2.5m high. It has
rounded edges and is composed of limestone rubble covered in a layer of soil
and retained by a dry stone wall. The mound originally contained a burial
chamber at its northern end. This has since been largely removed but a
partial excavation in 1788 is reported to have produced evidence for a gallery
with several chambers containing skeletal material.
Flanking either side of the monument are side ditches from which material was
quarried during its construction. These are not visible at ground level,
having become infilled over the years, but they survive as buried features
Exclusions from the scheduling include the ruined farm building situated
towards the southern end of the monument and all fence posts relating to field
boundaries, although the underlying ground is included.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 22826
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Bulleid, A, 'Proceedings of the Somerset Arc and Nat Hist Society' in The Chambered Long Barrows Of North Somerset, , Vol. 87, (1942), 60-62
Bulleid, A, 'Proceedings of the Somerset Arc and Nat Hist Society' in The Chambered Long Barrows Of North Somerset, , Vol. 87, (1942), 59
Bulleid, A, 'Proceedings of the Somerset Arc and Nat Hist Society' in The Chambered Long Barrows Of North Somerset, , Vol. 87, (1942), 62
Human cranium in Bristol Museum, Human cranium in Bristol Museum,
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