Long barrow on Smay Down, 300m east of The Hassock

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1010467
Date first listed:
03-Apr-1925
Date of most recent amendment:
14-Feb-1992

Map

Ordnance survey map of Long barrow on Smay Down, 300m east of The Hassock
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District:
Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish:
Shalbourne
National Grid Reference:
SU 31026 59249

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 Smay Down barrow is important as, despite cultivation, it survives comparatively well and has potential for the recovery of archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the monument was constructed.

Details

The monument includes a long barrow set on a gentle south-facing slope in an area of undulating chalk downland. It survives as a low earthwork orientated NW-SE and is rectangular in plan. The barrow mound is 60m long, 28m wide and stands to a height of 0.6m. Flanking ditches, from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument, run parallel to the NE and SW sides of the mound. These have become infilled over the years although the ditch to the NE of the mound remains visible as a slight earthwork while that to the SW survives as a buried feature. Both are c.3m wide. The track surface which crosses the south end of the barrow mound is excluded from the scheduling, though the ground beneath 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.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
12308
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine, , Vol. 49, (1958)

Legal

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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