The Giant's Grave long barrow


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015935

Date first listed: 10-Mar-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Jul-1997


Ordnance survey map of The Giant's Grave long barrow
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Nov-2018 at 14:56:47.


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

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Downton

National Grid Reference: SU 16104 22999


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 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 known as the Giant's Grave is a well preserved example of its class. Despite the infilling of the quarry ditches the barrow's original profile is preserved and the monument will contain archaeological remains providing information about Neolithic burial traditions, economy and environment.


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


The monument includes a long barrow, known as the Giant's Grave, lying in a prominent position on an east facing slope above the valley of the River Avon. The barrow includes a mound 60m long and a maximum of 18m wide, aligned approximately north-south across the slope. The mound, which slopes gently along its length, is 2.5m high at its highest, northern end and is flanked by ditches from which material for its construction was quarried. These have become almost entirely infilled and only that flanking the the east side of the mound can be seen as a slight hollow. They will, however, survive as buried features approximately 6m wide. All fence posts 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 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: 26810

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing