Long barrow in Barrow Copse


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012429

Date first listed: 26-Jun-1924

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Sep-1991


Ordnance survey map of Long barrow in Barrow Copse
© 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.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: West Overton

National Grid Reference: SU 15683 65628


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 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. Despite some damage, due to afforestation and partial excavation in the 19th century, the Barrow Copse monument is important as it survives well and has potential for the recovery of archaeological remains. It is one of several long barrows and other contemporary monuments occurring in the immediate area giving an indication of the intensity with which it was settled during the Neolithic period.


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


The monument includes a long barrow set above the floor of a dry valley in an area of gently undulating chalk downland. The barrow mound is ovate and orientated east-west. It is 40m long, 27m wide and stands to a maximum height of 3.5m. Flanking the barrow mound to the north and south are ditches from which the material used to form the mound was quarried during the construction of the monument. These survive as earthworks 8m wide and 1m deep. The barrow mound was partially excavated by antiquarians in 1880, although no details of the work are known. A hollow towards the centre of the barrow mound indicates the site of the excavation.

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: 12243

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine: Volume 61, (), 98
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine: Volume 42, (), 366-7
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine: Volume 79, (), 18

End of official listing