Ancient Monuments

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Corton long barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Boyton, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1622 / 51°9'44"N

Longitude: -2.1003 / 2°6'1"W

OS Eastings: 393079.737316

OS Northings: 140337.448328

OS Grid: ST930403

Mapcode National: GBR 2X6.3SH

Mapcode Global: VH97X.K10V

Entry Name: Corton long barrow

Scheduled Date: 26 June 1924

Last Amended: 17 January 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010518

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12341

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Boyton

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Boyton St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a long barrow set below the crest of a north-facing
promontory overlooking the Wylye Valley. The barrow mound, like others in the
area, is ovoid in plan and orientated east-west. It is 50m long, 15m wide and
stands to a height of 2.5m. Partial excavation of the mound by Cunnington in
the late 19th century produced eight skeletons contemporary with the
construction of the monument as well as two later cremation burials in a
pottery urn. Although no longer visible at ground level, ditches from which
material was quarried during construction of the monument, run parallel to the
north and south sides of the 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. Despite partial excavation the Corton long barrow survives
comparatively well and has potential for the recovery of archaeological
remains and environmental evidence relating to the period in which the
monument was constructed. The importance of the site is enhanced by the fact
that other long barrows survive in the area giving an indication of the scale
and intensity with which the area was occupied during the Neolithic period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Archaeologia' in Archaeologia (Volume 15), , Vol. 15, (1805), 338

Source: Historic England

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