Long barrow on Fairmile Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013051

Date first listed: 10-Mar-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 17-Jan-1991


Ordnance survey map of Long barrow on Fairmile Down
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Collingbourne Kingston

National Grid Reference: SU 25658 56734


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. The Fairmile Down barrow is important as, despite evidence for partial excavation, it survives particularly well and has considerable archaeological potential. It is one of several long barrows and other contemporary monument types occurring in the immediate area indicating 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 a long barrow, surviving as a substantial earthwork, set on the crest of a north-facing slope. The barrow mound is orientated east- west and is ovoid in plan. It survives to a length of 41.5m, is 20m wide and 2.5m high at the higher east-end. Flanking ditches, from which material used to construct the mound was quarried, run parallel to the north and south sides of the mound. The northern ditch adjoins the barrow mound and is 7m wide and 0.75m deep. The southern ditch, which is separated from the mound by a narrow berm 2m wide, is 9m wide and 1.5m deep. The uneven surface of the barrow mound suggests partial excavation of the site, probably in the 19th century.

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: 12191

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing