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Longlow long barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Alstonefield, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 53.0824 / 53°4'56"N

Longitude: -1.8202 / 1°49'12"W

OS Eastings: 412139.019385

OS Northings: 353923.307009

OS Grid: SK121539

Mapcode National: GBR 47T.NMM

Mapcode Global: WHCDR.0SHB

Entry Name: Longlow long barrow

Scheduled Date: 17 November 1969

Last Amended: 15 August 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010230

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22442

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Alstonefield

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Wetton St Margaret

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


The monument includes Longlow long barrow. The barrow mound is an earth and
stone construction overlying large flat stone slabs inclined against an
internal wall. The long barrow is located along the crest of a gently sloping
ridge and is orientated NNE to SSW with its highest point at the NNE end. The
mound has a total length of 207m and survives up to 1.5m high. It varies in
width between 12m-21m with bulges at either end; that at the NNE end measuring
32m wide and up to 2.2m high, that at the SSW end being 20m wide and up to
1.7m high. At the northern end of the long barrow, on the western side,
quarry pits are visible from which material used in the construction of the
monument was extracted. These pits vary between 10m-17m wide and 0.1m-0.5m
deep. Further infilled pits probably exist on other sides of the barrow.
Limited antiquarian investigations have taken place at both end bulges and
within the central part of the long barrow. Investigation of the NNE bulge
located a central chamber of stone slabs with a paved floor. It measured 1.8m
by 1.5m by 1.2m high and contained a total of at least 13 contracted
inhumations of adults and children of both sexes. Animal bones and flint
artefacts were also recovered from the chamber. Further fragmented
finds of human and faunal remains and flint artefacts were located nearby as
was a short length of drystone wall. Investigation at the centre of the
SSW bulge located a length of drystone wall, 2.75m long and 0.9m high aligned
WSW to ENE, and a row of broad flat stones set on end into the old land
surface in a line 4.5m long and up to 0.6m high at right angles to the
drystone wall. At the junction of these walls was a cremation. Investigation
at three points along the length of the long barrow located a drystone wall
along the spine of the mound. The wall was constructed of large stones and
built almost to the full height of the mound. Flat stone slabs were found
inclined against the wall and the whole was covered with earth and stones.
Modern drystone walls, the post and wire fence running on the mound and a
water tank located at the long barrow's southern end are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath these features 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.

Longlow is the only long barrow recorded in Staffordshire. As such it lies
outside the distinct regional groupings of this class of monument found in the
Cotswolds, the downlands of Wessex, and the Wolds of Yorkshire and
Lincolnshire. It does, however, lie within a small regional grouping located
in the Peak District. Despite limited antiquarian investigations and some
minor mutilation by mining and quarrying Longlow long barrow survives well.
These investigations located human and faunal remains together with flint
artefacts, and further evidence of interments and grave goods will exist
within the long barrow and upon the old land surface. Additionally the
monument is known to contain substantial evidence relating to its method of

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Bateman, , Ten Years Digging (1861), (1861), 131
Bateman, , Ten Years Digging (1861), (1861), 121
Bateman, , Ten Years Digging (1861), (1861), 144
Carrington, , Reliquary, (1865)
Bateman, Desc & Obs Further Discoveries in the Barrows of Derbyshire,
Bateman, Desc & Obs Further Discoveries in the Barrows of Derbyshire,
Bateman, Illustrations of Antiquity (Unpub volume of drawings), Sheffield City Museum
Bateman, Illustrations of Antiquity (Unpub volume of drawings), Sheffield City Museum
Carrington, Barrow Diggers (Unpub MS with letters and notes), 1848,
Carrington, Barrow Diggers (Unpub MS with letters and notes), 1848,
Carrington, Barrow Diggers (Unpub MS with letters and notes), 1848,

Source: Historic England

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