Long barrow on Ashmore Down, 775m north of Ashgrove Cottages


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015938

Date first listed: 10-Mar-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Jul-1997


Ordnance survey map of Long barrow on Ashmore Down, 775m north of Ashgrove Cottages
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Donhead St. Mary

National Grid Reference: ST 91684 19645


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 on Ashmore Down is a well preserved example of its class. Despite some disturbance to the mound and the part infilling of the quarry ditches the barrow exhibits a largely original profile and will contain archaeological remains providing information about Neolithic beliefs, economy and environment.


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


The monument includes a long barrow, lying in a prominent position on the south east facing slope of Ashmore Down 775m north of Ashgrove Cottages. The barrow includes a mound 42m long aligned approximately east-west across the slope. The mound is a maximum of 21m wide and 2.5m high close to its largest, eastern end. Towards the western end it reduces in width to 16m and in height to 2m. A hollow, 4m in diameter and 0.8m deep, possibly the result of an unrecorded antiquarian excavation, lies immediately west of its centre and the southern flank of the mound shows additional signs of disturbance. The mound is flanked by ditches from which material for its construction was quarried. These have become almost entirely infilled and only that on the southern (downslope) 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: 26819

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing