Ancient Monuments

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Whitfield's Tump: a long barrow on Minchinhampton Common

A Scheduled Monument in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.7139 / 51°42'50"N

Longitude: -2.2128 / 2°12'46"W

OS Eastings: 385390.48312

OS Northings: 201707.763923

OS Grid: SO853017

Mapcode National: GBR 1MY.KCL

Mapcode Global: VH954.L5JY

Entry Name: Whitfield's Tump: a long barrow on Minchinhampton Common

Scheduled Date: 3 August 1971

Last Amended: 11 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008092

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13922

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Minchinhampton

Built-Up Area: Nailsworth

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Amberley Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes a long barrow orientated north-west to south-east and
located on Minchinhampton Common. It is visible as a barrow mound 26m long by
15m wide and ranging in height from c.0.2m to c.1.3m high at its highest
point. There is an area of disturbance at the south-eastern end of the barrow
mound, possibly caused by a previous unrecorded excavation. A round mound at
the south-eastern end is thought to be a spoil heap resulting from this
Although no longer visible at ground level, two parallel ditches from which
material was quarried during the construction of the monument, lie on either
side of the barrow mound to the north-east and the south-west. These have
become infilled over the years but survive as buried features c.3m wide.
The long barrow gains its name from the tradition that George Whitfield
preached from the mound in 1743.

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.

Whitfield's Tump long barrow survives comparatively well and, despite an area
of localised disturbance at the south-eastern end possibly caused by a
previous unrecorded excavation, contains archaeological and environmental
evidence relating both to the monument and the landscape in which it was
constructed. It is considered an integral part of a complex of earthworks on
Minchinhampton Common representing the development of a landscape from the
prehistoric period to the present day.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Russett, V, Report on the Archaeology of Minchinhampton Common, (1990)
Playne, (1872)
Source Date: 1969
OS Record Card

Source: Historic England

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