Ancient Monuments

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Slatepits Copse long barrow, 1km south east of High Lodge in Wychwood Forest

A Scheduled Monument in Cornbury and Wychwood, Oxfordshire

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Latitude: 51.8463 / 51°50'46"N

Longitude: -1.5238 / 1°31'25"W

OS Eastings: 432901.866089

OS Northings: 216515.14314

OS Grid: SP329165

Mapcode National: GBR 6TY.CJJ

Mapcode Global: VHBZN.JVSJ

Entry Name: Slatepits Copse long barrow, 1km SE of High Lodge in Wychwood Forest

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1949

Last Amended: 12 October 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011217

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21769

County: Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Cornbury and Wychwood

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Leafield with Wychwood

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a chambered long barrow situated 1km south-east of High
Lodge in Wychwood Forest. The barrow is orientated east-west and occupies a
false crest, part way down a steep south-facing slope which looks across a
narrow valley. It is located 400m south-west of the Churchill Copse long
Despite having suffered some disturbance, the barrow survives as an
earthwork 27.6m long and up to 2m high; it is 19m across at its eastern end
and 14m wide at its western end. The eastern facade, which forms the front of
the barrow, has at its centre a 1.5m wide stone-lined passage leading c.4m
into the mound. Although the roof of this passage is no longer present and the
rear wall has collapsed forward, some of the monolithic slabs used to
construct the passage remain in place. These measure up to 3m across
and 0.3m thick.
Beyond this passage is a disturbed area c.2m across and 0.3m deep which
appears to represent either collapse of the passage roof or partial excavation
of the mound. A further area of subsidence 2.3m wide runs south from this
disturbance to the edge of the mound and appears to be a back-filled
excavation trench.
Parallel to the mound and c.6.6m out from either edge are two flanking quarry
ditches from which material was obtained during the construction of the mound.
These have become largely infilled over the years although the southern ditch
is visible as a shallow depression c.6.6m wide and 28m long. The northern
ditch survives as a buried feature.
To the east of the barrow mound is a level area 5.4m wide which represents the
forecourt where the dead were brought prior to burial. This area appears as a
level platform, its eastern edge marked by a return to the natural slope of
the hill.

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.

Despite having been partially disturbed by excavation, the long barrow 1km
south-east of High Lodge survives well and will contain archaeological and
environmental evidence relating to its construction and the landscape in which
it was built.

Source: Historic England


REF:O.G.S CRAWFORD 1922 as does AM107, C.A.O., Slatepits Copse Long Barrow,
Title: Ordnance Survey 6"
Source Date: 1930

Source: Historic England

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