Long barrow and bowl barrow 430m north west of the Mendip Nature Research Station


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Ordnance survey map of Long barrow and bowl barrow 430m north west of the Mendip Nature Research Station
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Mendip (District Authority)
St. Cuthbert Out
National Grid Reference:
ST 58589 49575

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.

Long barrows are the earliest visible funerary monuments in the country and are relatively rare in this region. Despite being reduced by cultivation the long barrow 430m north west of the Mendip Nature Research Station almost certainly acted as a focus for the later bowl barrow.

Bowl barrows are usually constructed as earthen mounds with an encircling ditch and normally covered a single or multiple burial. They date from the Late Neolithic period through to the Bronze Age.

Both the long barrow and bowl barrow 430m north west of the Mendip Nature Research Station and their associated ditches will contain archaeological deposits and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


The monument includes the largely levelled remains of a long barrow of Neolithic date and a bowl barrow, believed to be of Late Neolithic to Bronze Age date, located on a gentle south-facing slope at the eastern edge of the Mendip Hills. The long barrow has an approximate east to west orientation and is located just to the west of the bowl barrow.

The barrows have been disturbed in the past by cultivation which has resulted in the spreading and near levelling of their mound material. However, the mounds have previously been recorded as 29m long and 12m wide with a height of 1.2m for the long barrow, and approximately 11m in diameter and 0.6m high for the bowl barrow. The long barrow is flanked on its north and south sides by ditches from which material was quarried for the construction of the mound, and although these have become largely infilled over the years, they will survive as buried features up to approximately 3m wide. In common with other round barrows known locally the bowl barrow is believed to be encircled by an associated, now infilled, quarry ditch of about 2m in width.

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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Books and journals
Grinsell, L, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, (1971), 116
Grinsell, L, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, (1971), 87


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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