Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Poleswood South long barrow 950m north-west of St Mary`s Church

A Scheduled Monument in Swell, Gloucestershire

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 51.9355 / 51°56'7"N

Longitude: -1.758 / 1°45'28"W

OS Eastings: 416731.672986

OS Northings: 226360.914186

OS Grid: SP167263

Mapcode National: GBR 4PV.LC5

Mapcode Global: VHB1P.GMY3

Entry Name: Poleswood South long barrow 950m north-west of St Mary`s Church

Scheduled Date: 20 February 1948

Last Amended: 25 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008206

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22876

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Swell

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 near to the crest of a ridge 950m
north-west of St Mary`s Church overlooking a valley to the south and in the
area of the Cotswold Hills.
The barrow, known as the Poleswood South long barrow, has a mound composed of
small stones; it is trapezoidal in plan and orientated east-west with maximum
dimensions of 55m long and 18.5m wide. The mound is upstanding to a height of
2m for 52m of its length, the remainder having been reduced in height by
cultivation. Three stones representing the remains of a burial chamber are
partially visible at the western end of the mound.
There are a number of excavation hollows visible. These include a central
trench 10m long, 3m wide and c.0.75m deep, and a quarry at the eastern end 4m
in diameter. The first of these is the result of partial excavation by
Greenwell and Rolleston in 1874. These investigations revealed that the mound
was retained by a drystone wall and that the mound extended around a recess or
forecourt in the eastern area. The body of the mound near to the centre
included large upright flagstones with large stones resting against them. The
western chamber was found to contain the remains of nine human skeletons,
animal bones and two pieces of plain Neolithic pottery. The passage which
joined this chamber was also found to contain the remains of an adult male,
adult female and a child.
Flanking each side of the mound is a ditch 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 monument forms one of a group of three long barrows situated within the
locality, all of which would originally have been intervisible.
Excluded from the scheduling are all fence posts relating to the surrounding
land boundaries, although the ground beneath 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.

The Poleswood South long barrow survives well and is known from partial
excavation to contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to
the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. This barrow is a
well-known and good example representing a group of long barrows commonly
referred to as the Cotswold-Severn group, named after the area in which they

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
Details of the dates of excavations,
Details of the site name,
Details of the structure of the site,

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.