Giant's Cave: a chambered long barrow 750m south west of Allengrove Farm
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Jul-2019 at 21:45:45.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- ST 82001 82965
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 180 long barrows of Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset form the densest and one of the most significant concentrations of monuments of this type in the country. The Giant's Cave long barrow is important as, despite early exploration of the site, it survives comparatively well and has potential for the recovery of further archaeological remains in addition to environmental evidence relating to the period in which the monument was constructed. The importance of the site is enhanced by the survival of an additional long barrow 150m to the south-east. Such pairs are rare and give an indication of the density or length of time during which some areas were populated in the Neolithic period.
The monument includes a chambered long barrow set on the floor of a valley
immediately north of a tributary of the River Avon. The barrow mound is
orientated east-west and is trapezoidal in plan. It has maximum dimensions of
56m in length, is 26m wide and 2.5m high. Limestone slabs on the surface of
the mound at the eastern end represent the chambers of what was a laterally
chambered tomb of the Cotswold-Severn group. Hollows and a spoil heap towards
the centre of the mound represent an early exploration of the site although no
details are known.
Although no longer visible at ground level, quarry ditches run parallel to the
north and south sides of the barrow mound. These have become infilled over
the years but survive as buried features c.3m wide.
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
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine, , Vol. 57, (1958)
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