Ancient Monuments

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Giant's Cave: a chambered long barrow 750m south west of Allengrove Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Luckington, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.5453 / 51°32'43"N

Longitude: -2.2609 / 2°15'39"W

OS Eastings: 382003.086744

OS Northings: 182965.093934

OS Grid: ST820829

Mapcode National: GBR 0NP.55V

Mapcode Global: VH95W.RFM7

Entry Name: Giant's Cave: a chambered long barrow 750m south west of Allengrove Farm

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1925

Last Amended: 10 February 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010394

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12286

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Luckington

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Luckington

Church of England Diocese: Bristol


The monument includes a chambered long barrow set on the floor of a valley
immediately north of a tributary of the River Avon. The barrow mound is
orientated east-west and is trapezoidal in plan. It has maximum dimensions of
56m in length, is 26m wide and 2.5m high. Limestone slabs on the surface of
the mound at the eastern end represent the chambers of what was a laterally
chambered tomb of the Cotswold-Severn group. Hollows and a spoil heap towards
the centre of the mound represent an early exploration of the site although no
details are known.
Although no longer visible at ground level, quarry ditches run parallel to the
north and south sides of the barrow mound. These have become infilled over
the years but survive as buried features c.3m wide.

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 180 long barrows of Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset form the densest and
one of the most significant concentrations of monuments of this type in the
country. The Giant's Cave long barrow is important as, despite early
exploration of the site, it survives comparatively well and has potential for
the recovery of further archaeological remains in addition to environmental
evidence relating to the period in which the monument was constructed. The
importance of the site is enhanced by the survival of an additional long
barrow 150m to the south-east. Such pairs are rare and give an indication of
the density or length of time during which some areas were populated in the
Neolithic period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine, , Vol. 57, (1958)

Source: Historic England

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