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Randwick Hill long barrow, round barrows and dyke

A Scheduled Monument in Randwick and Westrip, Gloucestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.7614 / 51°45'40"N

Longitude: -2.2523 / 2°15'8"W

OS Eastings: 382683.811439

OS Northings: 206995.818157

OS Grid: SO826069

Mapcode National: GBR 1MB.FDV

Mapcode Global: VH94Q.XZ5M

Entry Name: Randwick Hill long barrow, round barrows and dyke

Scheduled Date: 18 August 1948

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002107

English Heritage Legacy ID: GC 237

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Randwick and Westrip

Built-Up Area: Stroud

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Randwick St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester

Summary

Long barrow, two bowl barrows and a cross dyke 525m south east of Cherry Fayre.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 24 September 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument, which falls into three separate areas of protection, includes a long barrow, two bowl barrows and a cross dyke situated on the summit of a prominent ridge which is part of the Cotswold Escarpment and forms the watershed between the valleys of the Ruscombe Brook and a tributary to the River Severn and overlooks the Vale of Gloucester. The long barrow survives as a roughly rectangular mound orientated ENE to WSW measuring up to 45.7m long, 26.2m wide and 4.5m high. The side ditches are preserved as entirely buried features. Excavated in 1883 it was found to have a ‘horned’ entrance and a chamber defined by drystone walls at the eastern end. The chamber contained at least seven skeletons and above these a Roman horse shoe and Roman pottery were recovered. The barrow mound was found to be surrounded by a retaining drystone wall and several crouched inhumations were discovered beside this wall on the south side of the mound.

The bowl barrows survive as circular mounds of between 8m and 9m in diameter and from 0.6m up to 0.9m high surrounded by visible quarry ditches from which the construction material was derived. One has a slight central depression. The cross dyke is a linear earthwork bank and adjacent ditch measuring up to 200m long, the bank is up to 0.7m high and the ditch approximately 0.6m deep.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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 important.

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period.

Cross dykes are substantial linear earthworks typically between 0.2km and 1km long and comprising one or more ditches arranged beside and parallel to one or more banks. They generally occur in upland situations, running across ridges and spurs. They are recognised as earthworks or as cropmarks on aerial photographs, or as combinations of both. The evidence of excavation and analogy with associated monuments demonstrates that their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been re-used later. Current information favours the view that they were used as territorial boundary markers, probably demarcating land allotment within communities, although they may also have been used as trackways, cattle droveways or defensive earthworks. Cross dykes are one of the few monument types which illustrate how land was divided up in the prehistoric period. They are of considerable importance for any analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age. Very few have survived to the present day.

Despite visitor erosion, tree growth and partial early excavation the long barrow, two bowl barrows and a cross dyke 525m south east of Cherry Fayre survive comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, longevity, social organisation, territorial significance, funerary and ritual practices, interrelationships, relative chronologies and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
PastScape 114970, 114963 and 114966

Source: Historic England

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