Long barrow 140m WSW of the Battery Hill triangulation point

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014089

Date first listed: 05-Mar-1996

Map

Ordnance survey map of Long barrow 140m WSW of the Battery Hill triangulation point
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Idmiston

National Grid Reference: SU 20492 34809

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Since 1916 the Porton Down Range has been used for military purposes. As on the Salisbury Plain Training Area, this has meant that it has not been subject to the intensive arable farming seen elsewhere on the Wessex chalk. Porton, as a result, is one of very few surviving areas of uncultivated chalk downland in England and contains a range of well-preserved archaeological sites, many of Neolithic or Bronze Age date. These include long barrows and round barrows, flint mines, and evidence for settlement, land division and agriculture. 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 nationally important. The long barrow on Battery Hill is a well preserved example of its class which, despite some erosion caused by burrowing animals, exhibits a largely original profile. The barrow will contain archaeological remains providing information about Neolithic beliefs, economy and environment.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes a long barrow lying across a north west facing slope immediately below and to the west of the crest of Battery Hill. The barrow has a mound 30m long, orientated NNE-SSW, which reaches a maximum width of 15m and a maximum height of 1.2m at its northern end. The mound tapers to the opposite (southern) end where its height reduces to c.0.3m and its profile merges into that of the flanking ditches. These, which lie alongside the mound, and from which material to construct it was quarried, appear on the surface to vary considerably in width. At the northern end of the mound, that on its upslope (eastern) side appears to be c.12m wide while that on the downslope side is c.7m wide. This variation, which is matched by some eccentricity in the profile of the barrow mound at this point, is most probably caused by the effects of cultivation of the slopes around the barrow. At the northern end of the barrow the overall width of mound and flanking ditches is c.40m, reducing to c.30m at its southern end. Excluded from the scheduling are all archaeological site markers although the ground beneath these is included.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 26751

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing