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.
The Uley 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 well-known and good example representing a
group of long barrows commonly referred to as the Cotswold-Severn group, named
after the area in which they occur.
The monument includes a chambered long barrow situated on level ground with
views to the south and east.
The barrow is known as Hetty Pegler`s Tump after a 17th century owner of the
field in which the monument is situated. The barrow has a mound composed of
small stones; it is trapezoidal in plan and orientated from north-east to
south-west. It has dimensions of 51m by 30m and stands to a maximum height of
At the eastern end of the monument there is a forecourt consisting of a recess
flanked on either side by projections of mound. This forecourt has dimensions
of 12.5m by 2.5m and leads into a north-east facing entrance defined by two
standing stones capped by a stone lintel. Beyond the entrance is a stone
gallery 1m wide and 10m long, which leads into two pairs of side chambers and
an end chamber. These chambers have average dimensions of 1m in width, 3m in
depth and 1.2m in height.
Partial excavations were conducted at the site by Dr Fry in 1821 and by Dr
Thurnham and Professor E A Freeman in 1854. The excavations of 1821 revealed
that there were two human skeletons and the lower jaws of several wild boar
within the blocking of the entrance to the tomb. A total of thirteen human
skeletons were recovered from within the tomb. Six of these came from the
entrance passage and, although most were disturbed, two were still in a
crouched position. Four skeletons were recovered from the eastern side
chamber, including one of a woman, along with finds of animal teeth and
Neolithic pottery. The western chamber contained more Neolithic pottery and
parts of one human skeleton. The north-eastern chamber contained two more
human skeletons and, near to the top of this chamber, within six inches of the
surface, was a skeleton orientated broadly NE-SW accompanied by three Roman
coins dating to the Constantinian period (AD 312-337). This represents an
intrusive Romano-British burial.
The 1854 excavations revealed more fragments of disturbed human skeletons
within the passage, including fragments of nine human skulls and more animal
teeth and boars tusks.
The barrow`s mound is flanked on either side by a ditch from which material
was quarried during the construction of the monument. These have become
infilled over the years, but survive as buried features c.5m wide.
The site is one of three long barrows known in the locality.
Excluded from the scheduling are all fence posts and gates relating to the
field boundary, although the ground beneath all these features is included.
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.