West Tump long barrow


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016078

Date first listed: 30-Aug-1922

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Sep-1997


Ordnance survey map of West Tump long barrow
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Gloucestershire

District: Cotswold (District Authority)

Parish: Brimpsfield

National Grid Reference: SO 91146 13230


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.

Previous investigation has shown that West Tump long barrow survives well, and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the barrow and the landscape in which it was constructed. This monument represents an example of a group of long barrows commonly referred to as the Cotswold-Severn group, named after the area in which they are found.


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


The monument includes a long barrow orientated WNW-ESE on the crest of a west-facing hillside in the Cotswolds. The barrow, one of the so called Cotswold-Severn group, has a mound which measures approximately 48m long and 3m high at its highest point. It is approximately 10m wide at its west end, 23m wide in the middle and 12m wide at the east end. On either side of the mound is a berm approximately 5m wide, and a ditch. Material was excavated from the ditches during the construction of the long barrow mound. The ditches can no longer be seen at ground level, but survive as buried features approximately 5m wide. The barrow was discovered by G B Witts in 1880, and subsequently excavated by him in the same year. Witts noted that the south east end was seen to curve in slightly forming characteristic `horns', and that the mound was surrounded by a dry stone wall. The `horns' stood to a height of approximately 1m and between them were two upright stones forming a false doorway. There was no chamber at the south east end, but it was found 25m from the southern `horn'. Here there was an entrance through the wall 0.6m wide. A passage 0.9m wide and 2m long led to the chamber. The chamber was 1.2m wide and 4.7m long and contained about 20 skeletons. One of the skeletons, that of woman, was placed at the end of the chamber on a semi-circle of flat stones. Finds included pottery and a leaf-shaped arrow head. One sherd of pottery and the arrowhead, are now in Cheltenham Museum. Crawford visited the site in 1920, by which time the surrounding wall had disappeared. The remains of the `horns' can be seen today forming a depression approximately 3m wide and 0.75m deep. Stonework is exposed but masked by tree root growth. A depression in the top of the barrow approximately 2m in diameter and 0.5m deep marks the position of the excavation into the chamber.

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: 28845

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Crawford, O G S, Long Barrows of the Cotswolds, (1925), 137
Crawford, O G S, Long Barrows of the Cotswolds, (1925), 137-138
Daniel, G E, Prehistoric Chamber Tombs of England and Wales, (1950), 132

End of official listing