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
Despite reduction in its height through cultivation, partial excavation and
disturbance through modern services to houses, the long barrow immediately
north of Blenheim House, 310m south west of Putson Cross, will contain
archaeological and environmental information relating to the construction and
use of the monument and its landscape. It is unusual for this part of Devon,
being the only remaining monument of this type known west of West Dorset.
This monument includes a Neolithic long barrow situated on the southern side
of the valley of the River Lowman.
The monument survives as an elongated oval mound aligned east-west, which is
widest at the eastern end. It measures approximately 92m long, 18m wide at the
east tapering to 11m wide at the west and is up to 0.9m high. The flanking
quarry ditch is partially visible on the northern side, extends round the
eastern end and to the south, and is elsewhere preserved as a buried feature
which measures up to 10m wide. Partial excavation has shown that this ditch
measures up to 3.2m deep. The long mound and its ditch extends through the
gardens and grounds of three separate properties.
The land boundaries which cross the monument, together with patios, paths,
other garden features, standing buildings, and a septic tank are excluded from
the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.