Ancient Monuments

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Long barrow 400m north-west of Fox Covert

A Scheduled Monument in Tormarton, South Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.4998 / 51°29'59"N

Longitude: -2.3171 / 2°19'1"W

OS Eastings: 378086.871058

OS Northings: 177921.364506

OS Grid: ST780779

Mapcode National: GBR 0P0.WJ8

Mapcode Global: VH961.SKFL

Entry Name: Long barrow 400m north-west of Fox Covert

Scheduled Date: 20 April 1949

Last Amended: 11 February 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010396

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12288

County: South Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Tormarton

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: West Kington

Church of England Diocese: Bristol


The monument includes a long barrow set just above the floor of a small
valley. The barrow mound is orientated SW-NE, it is trapezoidal in plan and
has dimensions of 50m long, 25m wide at the broader NE end and 22m wide at the
SW end. The mound varies in height between 2m in the centre and 0.5m at the
NE end. Although no longer visible at ground level ditches, from which
material was quarried during the construction of the monument, flank the mound
to the north and south. 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 Fox Covert barrow is important as, despite cultivation to the
eastern end of the mound, much of the monument survives intact and has
potential for the recovery of archaeological remains in addition to
environmental evidence relating to the period in which the monument was
constructed. The importance of the monument is enhanced by the fact that an
additional long barrow survives some 160m to the north-west. Such pairs are
rare and give an indication as to the density or length of time during which
areas were populated during the Neolithic period.

Source: Historic England

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