Ancient Monuments

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Long barrow 250m north of Normanton Gorse

A Scheduled Monument in Winterbourne Stoke, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1749 / 51°10'29"N

Longitude: -1.8363 / 1°50'10"W

OS Eastings: 411541.425573

OS Northings: 141751.92921

OS Grid: SU115417

Mapcode National: GBR 3YP.BJW

Mapcode Global: VHB5B.4Q2P

Entry Name: Long barrow 250m north of Normanton Gorse

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1925

Last Amended: 5 April 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008953

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10313

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Winterbourne Stoke

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Amesbury St Mary and St Melor

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a long barrow situated 250m north of Normanton Gorse and
just south of the A303. It occupies a south-facing slope on the southern
margin of Stonehenge Down. The barrow mound, which is orientated NNW-SSE ,is
up to 1.8m high, 32m long and c.18m wide. Flanking the mound on the east and
west sides are quarry ditches from which material was taken during the
construction of the monument. These have become partially infilled over the
years but are still visible as slight earthworks. The ditch on the north
east side is c.6m wide, that on the south west is c.8m wide. The barrow was
partially excavated in the 19th century and produced three primary inhumations
and two later burials.

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

A small number of areas in southern England appear to have acted as foci for
ceremonial and ritual activity during the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods.
Two of the best known and earliest recognised areas are around Avebury and
Stonehenge, now jointly designated as a World Heritage Site.
The area of chalk downland which surrounds Stonehenge contains one of the
densest and most varied groups of Neolithic and Bronze Age field monuments in
Britain. Included within the area are Stonehenge itself, the Stonehenge
cursus, the Durrington Walls henge, and a variety of burial monuments, many
grouped into cemeteries.
The area has been the subject of archaeological research since the 18th
century when Stukeley recorded many of the monuments and partially excavated a
number of the burial mounds. More recently, the collection of artefacts from
the surfaces of ploughed fields has supplemented the evidence for ritual and
burial by revealing the intensity of contemporary settlement and land-use.
In view of the importance of the area, all ceremonial and sepulchral monuments
of this period which retain significant archaeological remains are identified
as nationally important. Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone
mounds often 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 it is probable that long barrows acted as important
ritual sites for local communities over a considerable period of time.
Some 500 long barrows and long cairns, their counterparts in the uplands, are
recorded in England of which at least nine survive in the Stonehenge area.
These represent an important group for understanding the historical context
within which Stonehenge developed during the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze
Age periods.

The long barrow 250m north of Normanton Gorse survives comparatively well and
is known from partial excavation to contain archaeological remains and
environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it
was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 137
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 206

Source: Historic England

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