Long Burgh long barrow, Alfriston.


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

East Sussex
Wealden (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
TQ 51024 03404

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 Long Burgh example survives well apart from the localised damage caused by digging in the past. It is therefore of high archaeological potential. The monument is also relatively well documented and is of high amenity value due to its proximity to public footpaths.


The Long Barrow is situated on level ground at the crest of a chalk spur overlooking the Cuckmere Valley and present day Alfriston. It is orientated NE-SW, with the slightly broader and higher end to the NE. The most distinctive feature of the monument is the elongated earthen mound which measures 56m in length and some 20m in width. At its highest point the mound stands some 1.5m above the level of the surrounding land. Less obvious but nevertheless discernible are a pair of flanking ditches which parallel the mound and from which the chalk and earth used to construct the mound was quarried. The ditches curve around the ends of the mound but do not meet. There is evidence of a number of excavations at the site of the monument in the form of three marked hollows towards the NE end. At least one was created in 1767, when 'a skeleton and an urn' were discovered, but these finds probably relate to the reuse of the mound in the Bronze Age. Comparison with other monuments of the same form indicates that this example originated in the Neolithic period. The monument lies at the junction of downland paths, one of which skirts the mound at its NE end. Here the surface of the path is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Toms, H S, Sussex Archaeological Collections, (1922), 161-2
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Long Barrows, (1989)
TQ 50 SW 13,


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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