Long barrow situated in Southlawn Plain Woods


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


Ordnance survey map of Long barrow situated in Southlawn Plain Woods
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

West Oxfordshire (District Authority)
Swinbrook and Widford
National Grid Reference:
SP 29336 13867

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 Southlawn Plain long barrow survives well despite having been partially excavated and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction and the landscape on which it was built. It is an unusually large example of the Oxfordshire Cotswold Severn Group of long barrows.


The monument includes a large Neolithic long barrow of the Cotswold Severn tradition, situated in a fir plantation on what is known as Southlawn Plain. The barrow lies on a gentle east-facing slope and is aligned north west to south east with its front at the south eastern end. The barrow mound has been partially disturbed by an antiquarian investigation but survives as an earth and stone mound 78m long and 25m wide standing up to 2m high. The excavation trench can be clearly seen as a 7m wide cut through the centre of the mound from north east to south west. A pair of flanking quarry ditches run down the two long sides of the barrow and come together at its rear (north western) end. Both ditches extend c.10m forward of the front of the barrow before terminating. These ditches provided material for the construction of the barrow and, although partially infilled with leaf litter and soil, survive as visible features up to 7m wide and 0.2m deep. The southern terminal ends of both ditches are crossed by a grass covered track which runs from east to west through the plantation. Raised mounds of soil and stone at both the front and back ends of the mound stand above the remainder of the long barrow and may represent 17th or 18th century tree mounds, constructed to utilise the monument as a landscape feature. Excluded from the scheduling is the post and wire fence of the enclosure on the south side of the track, although the track itself and the ground beneath the fence are 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:


DETAILS, BENSON, D., O.C.M. PRN 2247, (1976)
Sketch Plan, Dryden, DRYDEN MSS, (1858)
SP 21 SE, Ordnance Survey, Barrow Excavated 1872, (1976)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 Source Date: Author: Publisher: Surveyor: SP 21 SE


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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