Neolithic long barrow 400m SSE of Burnt Hill
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1008403
Date first listed: 06-Aug-1973
Date of most recent amendment: 19-Jan-1995
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: West Oxfordshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: SP 26597 28500
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 examples of
long barrows and long cairns, their counterparts in the uplands, are recorded
nationally. 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
The long barrow 400m SSE of Burnt Hill survives as a visible earthwork despite having been partially levelled by ploughing and it will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction and the landscape in which it was built. The monument is also situated close to a portal dolmen, a rare form of Early Neolithic burial chamber which precedes the development of long barrows.
The monument includes the remains of a Neolithic long barrow situated on a
south east facing slope, 400m SSE of Burnt Hill. The barrow mound has been
reduced by cultivation at both its north eastern and south western ends but
survives well on its southern side within a clump of mature trees which stand
on the centre of the mound. The overall dimensions of the mound are 54m long
and up to 12m wide. The barrow stands up to 1m high within the trees while
elsewhere it is still visible as a slight rise up to 0.4m high. South of the
mound, the flanking quarry ditch, which has been infilled over the years, can
be seen as a slight depression c.6m wide beyond a 3.8m wide berm. The line of
this ditch can also be traced to the south west by a differential growth in
the arable crop. The northern ditch has become infilled and has also been the
site of stone dumping. However, it will survive below ground as a buried
feature with dimensions similar to that on the southern side. The stones
dumped to the north of the copse and scattered across the site represent
stones removed from the adjacent field in recent times, and also represent
some of the stones which originally flanked the sides of the barrow, possibly
forming a burial chamber within the mound.
A low circular bank, 15m in diameter and c.0.2m high, lies in the centre of
the clump, on top of the long barrow. This represents a later change in the
use of the site. The monument was first identified in 1922 when a number of
the stones were still upright within the clump of trees.
The long barrow lies 150m south west of a portal dolmen.
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: 21792
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Crawford, O G S, Long Barrows of the Cotswolds, (1925), p 175
Benson, , Fasham, , 'Fieldwork at Chastleton' in Site E Plans And Profiles, , Vol. XXXVII, (1972), p 8
OCN 159, ENGLISH HERITAGE, Bronze Age stone circle SSE of Burnt Hill, (1976)
PRN 1470, note 3, C.A.O., ? Tumulus (remains of), (1972)
PRN 2626, C.A.O., Round Barrow?, (1976)
Title: Rec 6' Source Date: 1922 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Hand drawn map
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