Ancient Monuments

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Long barrow 700m south of Tidcombe

A Scheduled Monument in Tidcombe and Fosbury, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.3168 / 51°19'0"N

Longitude: -1.5816 / 1°34'53"W

OS Eastings: 429253.189755

OS Northings: 157602.695073

OS Grid: SU292576

Mapcode National: GBR 5ZY.8YL

Mapcode Global: VHC2B.J5QD

Entry Name: Long barrow 700m south of Tidcombe

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1925

Last Amended: 10 July 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012253

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12275

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Tidcombe and Fosbury

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes a long barrow set on the crest of a NW-facing slope in
an area of undulating chalk downland. It survives as a substantial
earthwork, broadly rectangular in plan and orientated north-south. The
barrow mound is 54m long, 24m wide and varies in height between 3m at the
north end and 4m at the chambered south end. The chamber has been partly
excavated and consequently appears as a hollowed area containing four large
sarsen blocks. A further hollow runs the length of the mound along the top
of the monument. This may represent the earliest disturbance of the site
which is believed to have been in the 18th century. Flanking the mound are
ditches, from which material was quarried during the construction of the
monument. These run parallel to the east and west sides of the mound. The
eastern ditch survives to 8m wide and 0.5m deep. The western ditch has been
largely infilled over the years but can still be traced on the surface as a
low earthwork.

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 barrow south of Tidcombe is important as, despite partial
excavation in the 18th century, much of the monument survives comparatively
well and has potential for the recovery of archaeological evidence for
nature and duration of use of the monument and the environment within which
it was constructed. The importance of the monument is enhanced by the fact
that several other long barrows and additional evidence for contemporary
settlement survive in the area. This illustrates the intensity with which
this part of east Wiltshire was settled during the Neolithic period.

Source: Historic England

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