Poleswood East long barrow 850m NNW of St Mary`s Church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008192

Date first listed: 30-Aug-1922

Date of most recent amendment: 25-Mar-1994


Ordnance survey map of Poleswood East long barrow 850m NNW of St Mary`s Church
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Gloucestershire

District: Cotswold (District Authority)

Parish: Swell

National Grid Reference: SP 17166 26515


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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 excavations, the Poleswood East long barrow survives well and is known to contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. This barrow is a good example representing a group of long barrows commonly referred to as the Cotswold-Severn group, named after the area in which they occur.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a long barrow situated near to the crest of a ridge overlooking a valley to the south in the area of the Cotswold Hills. The long barrow, known as the Poleswood East long barrow, has a mound composed of small stones. This is oval in plan and orientated north-south with maximum dimensions of 23.3m long, 19m wide and c.1m high. The upper area of the mound has an uneven appearance which is likely to be the result of an antiquarian excavation at the site in 1875-6 by Royce and Rolleston. This revealed, near to the middle of the mound, a transverse chamber which was partly underground, and which contained the remains of 19 human skeletons, animal bones, worked flint and an Early Neolithic bowl. Three Saxon period burials were also recovered from the mound, demonstrating later deposition at the site. There is also a quarry situated on the north-eastern side of the monument, 8m in diameter and c.2m deep, although this may be a more recent feature. The barrow had a forecourt or recess flanked by extensions of the mound on either side and fronted by a `false entrance` or blocked doorway which was never attached to an inner chamber. The monument is recorded as `Haettas Lawe` in the 1055 land charter. This long barrow is one of a group of three known in the locality, all of which would originally have been intervisible.

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: 22877

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
O`Neil, H E, Grinsell, L V, 'Proc of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Arch Soc' in Gloucestershire Barrows, (1960), 91
O`Neil, H E, Grinsell, L V, 'Proc of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Arch Soc' in Gloucestershire Barrows, (1960), 91
Date of excavations at the site,
Mention of reference in Saxon Charter,
Name of the site,

End of official listing