Long barrow on Horton Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013141

Date first listed: 16-Jul-1956

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Mar-1991


Ordnance survey map of Long barrow on Horton 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: Bishops Cannings

National Grid Reference: SU 07672 65817


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 cultivation, the Horton Down barrow is important as its survives comparatively well and, with no evidence of formal excavation, has considerable archaeological potential. It is one of several long barrows and other contemporary monument types occurring in the immediate area giving an indication of 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 set across a ridge-top on an area of gently undulating chalk downland. The monument survives as a low earthwork, rectangular in plan and orientated NNW-SSE. The barrow mound is c.40 long by 15m across and survives to a height of 0.4m. Flanking ditches, from which material used to construct the mound was quarried, run parallel to the east and west sides of the mound. These have been infilled over the years and now survive as buried features c.5m across. Large quantities of worked flint, including retouched artefacts and cores, are visible both on the surface of the mound and in the immediate area around it. These are believed to be contemporary with the construction and use 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.


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

Legacy System number: 12189

Legacy System: RSM


Schofield A J, 08 March 1990, (1990)

End of official listing