Bown Hill long barrow 790m south east of Longwood Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

Stroud (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SO 82302 01791

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.

Bown Hill long barrow survives well, despite some disturbance from 19th century excavations. The monument lies in an area of significant prehistoric activity, with a number of long barrows and bowl barrows lying within a 1km radius of the site, and a single bowl barrow lying 70m to the north west. The barrow mound will contain evidence for stone chambers, burials and grave goods, which will provide information about prehistoric funerary practices, and about the size of the local community at that time. The mound will also preserve environmental information in the buried original ground surface, predating the construction of the barrow and giving an insight into the landscape in which the monument was set. In addition, the mound and its associated ditches will also contain archaeological information and environmental evidence in the form of organic remains which will relate both to the monument and the wider landscape.


The monument includes a long barrow orientated approximately east-west on the crest of a hill in the Cotswolds. It is visible as a barrow mound 56m long by 22m wide and ranging between 2m high at its western end to 4.5m high at its eastern end. At the east end of the mound is a large depression measuring approximately 12m by 9m, while in the centre of the mound is a second depression about 8m wide, both of which are thought to have been due to the partial excavation of the barrow in 1863. Two parallel ditches, from which material was excavated during the construction of the barrow, lie on either side of the barrow mound to the north and south. These ditches are no longer visible at ground level, having become infilled over the years, but survive as buried features about 3m wide. The barrow was partially excavated by Dr Paine and Mr Witchell in 1863. At the east end, between dry stone wall horns, was a megalithic portal which lead straight into a rectangular burial chamber measuring 2.6m by 1.2m. The chamber contained the remains of at least six individuals, animal bones and some Neolithic pottery. Some Romano-British pottery and a coin of Germanicus (struck approximately AD19) were also recovered. The dry stone walls and wire fences which run immediately to the west and north of the mound are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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.

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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

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