Ancient Monuments

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Long barrow situated in Southlawn Plain Woods

A Scheduled Monument in Swinbrook and Widford, Oxfordshire

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Latitude: 51.8227 / 51°49'21"N

Longitude: -1.5758 / 1°34'32"W

OS Eastings: 429336.010446

OS Northings: 213867.20732

OS Grid: SP293138

Mapcode National: GBR 5SR.QFR

Mapcode Global: VHBZT.MGT3

Entry Name: Long barrow situated in Southlawn Plain Woods

Scheduled Date: 13 April 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008494

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21802

County: Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Swinbrook and Widford

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Asthall with Swinbrook and Widford

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a large Neolithic long barrow of the Cotswold Severn
tradition, situated in a fir plantation on what is known as Southlawn Plain.
The barrow lies on a gentle east-facing slope and is aligned north west to
south east with its front at the south eastern end.
The barrow mound has been partially disturbed by an antiquarian investigation
but survives as an earth and stone mound 78m long and 25m wide standing up to
2m high. The excavation trench can be clearly seen as a 7m wide cut through
the centre of the mound from north east to south west.
A pair of flanking quarry ditches run down the two long sides of the barrow
and come together at its rear (north western) end. Both ditches extend c.10m
forward of the front of the barrow before terminating. These ditches provided
material for the construction of the barrow and, although partially infilled
with leaf litter and soil, survive as visible features up to 7m wide and 0.2m
deep. The southern terminal ends of both ditches are crossed by a grass
covered track which runs from east to west through the plantation.
Raised mounds of soil and stone at both the front and back ends of the mound
stand above the remainder of the long barrow and may represent 17th or 18th
century tree mounds, constructed to utilise the monument as a landscape
Excluded from the scheduling is the post and wire fence of the enclosure on
the south side of the track, although the track itself and the ground beneath
the fence are 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 Southlawn Plain long barrow survives well despite having been partially
excavated and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating
to its construction and the landscape on which it was built. It is an
unusually large example of the Oxfordshire Cotswold Severn Group of long

Source: Historic England


DETAILS, BENSON, D., O.C.M. PRN 2247, (1976)
Sketch Plan, Dryden, DRYDEN MSS, (1858)
SP 21 SE, Ordnance Survey, Barrow Excavated 1872, (1976)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000
Source Date:
SP 21 SE

Source: Historic England

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