Long barrow at Combe Gibbet, Gallows Down.


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


Ordnance survey map of Long barrow at Combe Gibbet, Gallows Down.
© 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.

West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)
West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 36474 62235

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.

Only three long barrows are recorded in Berkshire. As such they represent outliers to the important cluster of similar monuments in Wiltshire and Dorset.


The monument includes a long barrow on Gallows Down, 2km south of Inkpen. The barrow is orientated east-west with flanking ditches clearly visible to the north and south. The mound survives to a length of c.65m and a width of 20m. It is higher to the eastern end where it survives to a height of 1.5m. Elsewhere the mound averages between 0.5m and 1m. The ditches survive running the full length of the mound to a width of 7m. The ditch is separated from the mound by a narrow berm, varying in width between 3 and 7m. Both ditches survive to a depth of 0.5m. No records of excavation or burial survive. Situated on the mound, 25m from the east end, is Combe Gibbet. This survives as a replacement for the original gallows and stands 4m in height with a biased crossbar. The Gibbet structure is excluded from the scheduling.

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.

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Books and journals
Underhill, F M, 'Berkshire Archaeological Journal' in British Archaeological Journal, , Vol. 49, (1946), 51


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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