Adam's Grave: a long barrow on Walker's Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013032

Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 28-Jan-1991


Ordnance survey map of Adam's Grave: a long barrow on Walker's Hill
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Alton

National Grid Reference: SU 11233 63386


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. Adam's Grave is important as, despite partial excavation in 1860, it survives particularly well and has considerable archaeological potential. Also as one of several long barrows and other contemporary monument types occurring in the immediate area, it illustrates the intensity with which the area was settled during the Neolithic period.


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


The monument includes Adam's Grave, a long barrow set on a promontory above a steep south-facing escarpment. It survives as a substantial earthwork orientated NW-SE and is trapezoid in plan. The barrow mound is 70m long, c.7m high and survives to an average width of 20m. Flanking ditches, from which material used to construct the mound was quarried, run parallel to the north and south sides of the mound. These are 7m wide and up to 2m deep. The south-east end of the monument was partially excavated by Thurnham in 1860. Finds included part of a chamber formed from large sarsen stones, traces of human skeletons and a leaf-shaped arrowhead. Numerous other long barrows are known in the area while a broadly contemporary enclosure at Knap Hill is situated on an neighbouring promontory.

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: 12188

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine , , Vol. 79, ()
'Archaeologia' in Archaeologia, , Vol. 52, ()
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine: Volume 45, , Vol. 11, ()

End of official listing