Long barrow on Easton Down
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1013366 .pdf
The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.
This copy shows the entry on 16-Oct-2019 at 00:39:53.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
- Bishops Cannings
- National Grid Reference:
- SU 06374 66094
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.
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
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
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:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine: Volume 6, , Vol. 6, (), 324
Schofield A J, 02 March 1990,
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