Long barrow 200m east of parade ground, Groves Road, Halton Camp
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Sep-2019 at 02:04:57.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Aylesbury Vale (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SP 88582 09527
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 examples of
long barrows and long cairns, their counterparts in the uplands, are recorded
nationally. 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
The long barrow at Halton Camp is one of only three such monuments located in Buckinghamshire, and the only example to survive as an earthwork. It is therefore of considerable importance for the understanding of early prehistoric settlement in the county. The barrow is very well preserved. Despite minor disturbance caused by excavation across the central area of the mound, most of the barrow survives well. Funerary remains, which are normally clustered at the eastern end of such monuments, will have been left undisturbed by the excavation. Together with other archaeological deposits within the mound, including any evidence of an earlier mortuary structure, these remains will enable valuable insights into early burial practices, the development of the monument and the beliefs of the community which used the site. The former ground surface buried beneath the mound, and further environmental evidence from the fills of the buried quarry ditches, will illustrate the character of the surrounding area at the time the barrow was built.
The monument includes a Neolithic long barrow situated some 100m to the north
east of Groves Road which skirts the southern side of the parade ground at RAF
The barrow, which is orientated east to west, stands on a slight spur
projecting from the lower slopes of Haddington Hill, and would originally have
stood out from the horizon when viewed from the valley to the south and west.
The mound forms an elongated oval, c.1.2m high and approximately 45m in length
and 20m in width, with slight signs of tapering towards the west. A survey of
the mound made in 1925 demonstrates this tapered appearance more clearly, and
records the former appearance of the eastern end which has since been altered
by the construction of an adjacent horse jump and the build up of the area
between it and the mound. A limited excavation in the same year revealed
sequential layers of redeposited chalk, flint and clay used in the formation
of the mound. The layers contained fragments of prehistoric pottery, animal
bone, worked flint, burnt flint and other carbonised material. These finds are
thought to have resulted from the inclusion of occupation debris from
activities surrounding a mortuary enclosure subsequently buried within the
mound. No evidence was found for the quarry ditches normally associated with
this class of monument, although an inward facing scarp curving around the
eastern end of the mound was noted on the survey, and the composition of the
mound revealed by the excavation strongly suggests quarrying rather than the
use of turf or topsoil. It is thought that the excavation did not extend far
enough from the mound to reveal the locations of these buried features.
The barriers or horse jumps at either end of the mound are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath these features is included.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 10 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
Grinsell, L V, Barrows in England and Wales, (1979), 9-10
Megaw, JVS, Simpson, DDA, Introduction to British Prehistory, (1981), 91-93
Manby, T G, 'Scot Arch Forum' in Long Barrows of Northern England; Structural And Dating Evidence, , Vol. 2, (1970), 13
Reader, F W, 'Records of Buckinghamshire' in A Discovery at Halton, , Vol. XI, (1926), 488
Excavator's plans and notes (archive), Reader, F W, 2230, (1926)
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