Devil's Den long barrow, 600m east of White Acre

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012321

Date first listed: 18-Aug-1882

Date of most recent amendment: 28-Nov-1991

Map

Ordnance survey map of Devil's Den long barrow, 600m east of White Acre
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. 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: Preshute

National Grid Reference: SU 15211 69654

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the early Neolithic period (3000 - 2400bc). 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 partial human remains 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 Devil's Den is important, despite disturbance of the monument by cultivation and the later reconstruction of the chambered tomb, as much of the site remains intact and survives well below ground level. The site therefore has significant potential for the recovery of archaeological remains. The importance of the monument is further enhanced by its location within an area heavily settled and well documented during the Neolithic period. The area is rich in burial and religious monuments as well as producing additional evidence for settlement.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes an earthen mound and chambered tomb set on the floor of a dry valley in an area of undulating chalk downland. The chambered tomb comprises four large sarsens (three uprights, one capstone). It is orientated north-west/south-east and set on top of a low earthen mound 8m square and 0.4m high. The sarsen uprights (one of which now lies on its side) range in size from 3-4m square while the capstone is 4m square. Flanking the mound on the north-west and south-east sides are quarry ditches from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. These are no longer visible at ground level but survive as buried features c.3m wide. The site was partially reconstructed in 1921, after plough damage, and now stands 5m high. A concrete plinth bearing the date `1921' has been inserted on the northern side of the monument.

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: 12226

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
'Antiquaries Journal' in Antiquaries Journal Volume II, , Vol. 2, (1922)
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine: Volume 79, , Vol. 79, (), 13-14
Other
In possession of owner., Pre 1921 photo of Devil's Den long barrow,
Report of the Marlborough College NHS, (1889)

End of official listing