Ancient Monuments

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Stoney Littleton long barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Wellow, Bath and North East Somerset

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Latitude: 51.3134 / 51°18'48"N

Longitude: -2.3817 / 2°22'54"W

OS Eastings: 373489.807159

OS Northings: 157207.940581

OS Grid: ST734572

Mapcode National: GBR 0R7.QMT

Mapcode Global: VH96Z.N8Q0

Entry Name: Stoney Littleton long barrow

Scheduled Date: 18 August 1882

Last Amended: 10 August 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007910

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22855

County: Bath and North East Somerset

Civil Parish: Wellow

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes a chambered long barrow situated on a limestone outcrop
overlooking the valley of the Wellow Brook to the north and west.
Known variously as the Stoney Littleton long barrow and the Bath Tumulus, the
barrow has a long mound which is orientated from north west to south east, is
of trapezoidal plan and has maximum dimensions of 30m long, 12.5m wide and
c.2m high. The mound is composed of small stones and has a restored dry stone
wall running around its perimeter.
The south eastern end of the mound is twice the width of the north western
terminal, and the wider end is also associated with a recessed forecourt which
leads into an inner chamber. The forecourt has dimensions of 3m by 3.2m and
its boundaries are flanked by dry stone walling which extends to the entrance
of the inner chamber. The entrance appears as a lintel supported by two jambs;
it is 1.1m high and faces towards the south east.
The internal chamber includes a transepted gallery grave associated with
three pairs of side chambers and an end chamber. The gallery extends for 12.8m
and varies in height from 1.2m to 1.8m. Human bones were recovered from within
the chambers during excavations conducted by Skinner in 1816.
The barrow's mound is flanked on each side by a quarry ditch from which
material was taken during the construction of the monument. These have become
infilled over the years, but survive as buried features c.3m wide.
The monument has been in State care since 1884.
Excluded from the scheduling are the iron railings and entrance gate
surrounding the periphery of the mound, together with the public notice board
situated to the west of the mound but the underlying ground is included.

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.

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 long
barrows are recorded in England. 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.

Despite partial excavation, the Stoney Littleton long barrow survives well and
will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the
monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. This barrow is one of
the better known and most striking examples of a group of long barrows
commonly referred to as the Cotswold Severn group, named after the region in
which they occur.

Source: Historic England


Details of restoration by Joliffe,
Details of Skinner`s excavations,
Placename associations,

Source: Historic England

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