Long barrow on Easton Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013366

Date first listed: 16-Jul-1956

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Mar-1991


Ordnance survey map of Long barrow on Easton 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 06374 66094


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 Easton Down barrow is important as it survives well, despite partial excavation, and has potential for the recovery of archaeological and environmental evidence. The importance of the monument is enhanced by the fact that numerous other long barrows and additional contemporary monument types occur 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 set on the crest of a local promontary in an area of gently undulating chalk downland. The monument is orientated east-west and is trapezoidal in plan. The barrow mound is 36m long by 17m wide and c.3m high. Flanking ditches, from which material used to construct the mound was quarried, run broadly parallel to the north and south sides of the mound. These have become infilled over the years and now survive as buried features c.5m across. Worked flint artefacts are visible both on the surface of the mound and in the area of the ditches. The site was partially excavated by Thurnham in the late 19th century. Finds included four burials within the mound.

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: 12190

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine: Volume 6, , Vol. 6, (), 324
Schofield A J, 02 March 1990,

End of official listing