Windmill Tump long barrow


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.

Cotswold (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 93255 97302

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 excavation, Windmill Tump long barrow survives well and is known from excavation and geophysical survey to contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. This barrow is a good example of 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 gently sloping ground with views to the south and east. The barrow, known variously as the Rodmarton long barrow and Windmill Tump, has a mound trapezoidal in plan, orientated from north-east to south-west with dimensions of 57m by 27m. The mound is composed of small stones and has a maximum height of c.3m. At the eastern end of the mound there is a forecourt consisting of a recess flanked by two projections of mound. This was fronted by a `false entrance` consisting of two standing stones and a stone lintel, blocked by a slab. The entrance was not, however, linked with an internal passage and so could not provide a physical means of access into the monument. Instead the `false entrance` is likely to have been constructed at the same time as the forecourt with which it appears associated. The barrow is known to have at least three stone lined chambers which are situated throughout the mound. Two chambers are situated at the eastern end of the monument and were investigated during partial excavations conducted by S Lysons in 1863 and E M Clifford in 1939. The 1863 excavations revealed the northern chamber, which has a lateral entrance. It was from this northern chamber that the remains of 13 human skeletons were recovered, along with two leaf shaped arrowheads suggesting an earlier Neolithic date (c.3000-2500 BC). The 1939 excavations discovered the southern chamber which is approached from an entrance in the side of the barrow mound via a short passage leading into the chamber. Further human remains and fragments of Neolithic pottery were recovered from this chamber. The excavations also recovered animal bones and traces of burning from the forecourt. The presence of Roman material, including a coin of Claudius Gothicus (AD 268-70), from within the body of the mound also demonstrates that deposition continued at the site beyond the Neolithic period. Flanking the mound on either side are ditches from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. These have become largely infilled over the years, but survive as a slight earthwork c.5m wide on the south side of the mound, and as a buried feature elsewhere. Further traces of these ditches were revealed by a geophysical survey conducted around the site in 1976. Excluded from the scheduling are all fence posts and gates relating to the field boundary, although the ground beneath these features is included.

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
O`Neil, H E, Grinsell, L V, 'Proc of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Arch Soc' in Gloucestershire Barrows, (1960), 88
O`Neil, H E, Grinsell, L V, 'Proc of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Arch Soc' in Gloucestershire Barrows, (1960), 88
Details of the excavations at site,
Details of the name of the site,


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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