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Great Botley Copse long barrow, and disc barrow near it

A Scheduled Monument in Grafton, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.338 / 51°20'16"N

Longitude: -1.5793 / 1°34'45"W

OS Eastings: 429401.150527

OS Northings: 159961.147483

OS Grid: SU294599

Mapcode National: GBR 5ZR.3JR

Mapcode Global: VHC24.KMYN

Entry Name: Great Botley Copse long barrow, and disc barrow near it

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1925

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005692

English Heritage Legacy ID: WI 88

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Grafton

Traditional County: Berkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Summary

Long barrow and disc barrow 980m west of Noon’s Farm.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 13 July 2015. This 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.

This monument, which falls into two areas, includes a long barrow and a disc barrow situated on the upper north west facing slopes of the prominent Botley Hill, close to the summit. The long barrow is to the south east and survives as a roughly rectangular mound which is aligned north to south and measures up to 65m long, 25m wide and 3m high with its flanking ditches preserved as mainly buried features visible to both sides of the mound as slight earthworks. At the southern end of the mound is a roughly circular depression measuring 8m in diameter and 1m deep indicating early past excavation. The disc barrow survives as a circular off centre mound with a diameter of 10m standing to 1.5m high, surrounded by a 6m wide berm with a 1.5m wide and 0.5m deep ditch and an up to 1.7m high outer bank. The barrow was excavated in 1910 by Crawford and Peake who found a primary cremation with an awl and rivet, an intrusive Anglo-Saxon inhumation accompanied by various grave goods including a buckle and part of a second inhumation beneath it. Later two Bronze Age pottery sherds were subsequently found as surface finds. Further archaeological remains in the immediate vicinity are scheduled separately.

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. Disc barrows, the most fragile type of round barrow, are funerary monuments of the Early Bronze Age, with most examples dating to the period 1400-1200 BC. They occur either in isolation or in barrow cemeteries (closely-spaced groups of round barrows). Disc barrows were constructed as a circular or oval area of level ground defined by a bank and internal ditch and containing one or more centrally or eccentrically located small, low mounds covering burials, usually in pits. The burials, normally cremations, are frequently accompanied by pottery vessels, tools and personal ornaments. It has been suggested that disc barrows were normally used for the burial of women, although this remains unproven. However, it is likely that the individuals buried were of high status. Disc barrows are rare nationally, with about 250 known examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods provides important evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst prehistoric communities over a wide area of southern England as well as providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a particularly rare and fragile form of round barrow, all identified disc barrows would normally be considered to be of importance. Despite partial excavation of both barrows the long barrow and disc barrow 980m west of Noon’s Farm survive well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their territorial significance, the social organisation of their builders, their chronological sequence and interrelationship, the funerary and ritual practices employed, social organisation of the builders and their overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
PastScape 224863 and 224145

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments

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