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Long barrow 400m north-east of Chalk Hill Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Temple Guiting, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.9348 / 51°56'5"N

Longitude: -1.8047 / 1°48'16"W

OS Eastings: 413524.11391

OS Northings: 226273.052841

OS Grid: SP135262

Mapcode National: GBR 4PS.LKZ

Mapcode Global: VHB1N.NMSM

Entry Name: Long barrow 400m north-east of Chalk Hill Cottage

Scheduled Date: 25 March 1948

Last Amended: 12 April 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008200

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22870

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Temple Guiting

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: The Swells

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes a long barrow situated 400m north-east of Chalk Hill
Cottage on Cow Common, a gently sloping plateau situated in the northern
Cotswold Hills with views to the south and east.
The monument is composed of small stones and is orientated broadly east-west.
The mound is visible as an upstanding and grass covered earthwork 38m long,
20m wide and c.1.5m high, which extends into a cultivated field where it
survives as a low earthwork c.0.35m high.
The long barrow was partially excavated by D.Royce in 1867-8 and by Greenwell
and Rolleston in 1874. These revealed that the barrow had a forecourt or
recess at the eastern end, flanked by extensions of the mound on either side.
The central area of the mound adjacent to the forecourt contained a `false
entrance` which was never attached to an inner chamber and could not
have provided access into the interior of the monument. Instead, the `false
entrance` is likely to have been constructed at the same time as the forecourt
with which it is associated. The material blocking the `false entrance` was
found to contain Peterborough and Beaker styles of later Neolithic pottery.
The mound was retained by a dry-stone wall and two chambers were identified
within the mound. The north-eastern example contained the remains of three
human skeletons and five more were found just outside. The second chamber was
identified 10m from the eastern end and was found to contain the remains of
two adult humans and one infant along with two flint flakes. The western area
of the mound contained fragments of Neolithic pottery and a Roman coin of
Constantine, suggesting later re-use of the monument.
Flanking the mound on either side are ditches from which material was quarried
during the construction of the monument. These have become infilled over the
years, but survive as buried features c.5m wide.
The long barrow was the earliest monument to be constructed at Cow Common,
but became the focus for a group of ten bowl barrows which formed a
later round barrow cemetery.

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 Cow Common long barrow survives well and is
known to contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the
monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. This barrow is
representative of a group of long barrows known as the Cotswold-Severn group,
named after the region in which they occur. It constitutes a rare instance of
a Cotswold Severn long barrow situated within and, therefore, acting as a
focus for, a later round barrow cemetery.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
O`Neil, H E, Grinsell, L V, 'Proc of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Arch Soc' in Gloucestershire Barrows, , Vol. 179, (1960), 90
O`Neil, H E, Grinsell, L V, 'Proc of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Arch Soc' in Gloucestershire Barrows, , Vol. 179, (1960), 90
O`Neil, H E, Grinsell, L V, 'Proc of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Arch Soc' in Gloucestershire Barrows, , Vol. 179, (1960), 90
O`Neil, H E, Grinsell, L V, 'Proc of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Arch Soc' in Gloucestershire Barrows, , Vol. 179, (1960), 90

Source: Historic England

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