The Fairy Toot long barrow 350m SSW of Howgrove Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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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)
Nempnett Thrubwell
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 Yeo river. 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 c.3m wide. 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.

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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

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