Ancient Monuments

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Bevis's Grave long barrow and early medieval cemetery, 100m west of Belmont Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Bedhampton, Hampshire

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Latitude: 50.8532 / 50°51'11"N

Longitude: -1.0177 / 1°1'3"W

OS Eastings: 469239.200264

OS Northings: 106422.511467

OS Grid: SU692064

Mapcode National: GBR BCM.FHL

Mapcode Global: FRA 86RV.9B2

Entry Name: Bevis's Grave long barrow and early medieval cemetery, 100m west of Belmont Castle

Scheduled Date: 28 January 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012831

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12118

County: Hampshire

Electoral Ward/Division: Bedhampton

Built-Up Area: Havant

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Crookhorn The Good Shepherd

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth


The monument includes a long barrow and area of early medieval burials
situated on the crest of Portsdown Hill. The long barrow mound is
orientated east-west with maximum dimensions of c.88m long by 25m
wide. A fence-line bisects the site from east to west. North of this
line the monument appears as a low earthwork 0.5m high while to the
south it survives as a buried feature in a cultivated field. Ditches,
from which mound material was quarried, flank the mound to the north
and south. The southern ditch has been partially excavated and was 88m
long, 4-6m wide and 1.7-2.1m deep with a flat bottom. Part of an
antler, probably the remains of a pick, was found at the bottom of the
ditch. Overlying deposits produced sherds of late Neolithic and Bronze
Age pottery. In the area of the southern ditch, partial excavation
revealed an area of early medieval burials. At the west end of the
ditch two Saxon burials were recovered while at the east end some
eighty Christian graves dating to the 8th and 9th centuries AD were
Before 1817, a further three burials, accompanied by a broken spear,
were found in the course of chalk digging on the site; they are said
to have lain "within twelve inches of the surface", presumably that of
the mound.

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 important concentrations of monuments of
this type in the country. This example is regarded as significant as
it survives well and, with no evidence of formal excavation except in
the area of the southern ditch, has considerable archaeological
potential. Long barrows occasionally acted as a focus for later
burials and the importance of this monument is certainly enhanced by
the presence of overlying burials of the early and later Saxon periods.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Smith, I F , Long Barrows in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, (1979), 22-3
Rudkin, D J, 'Medieval Archaeology' in Excavations at Bevis's Grave, Havant, , Vol. 20, (1975), 161
02 Feb 1990, Rudkin, D J, (1990)
Title: Map of Hampshire
Source Date: 1759

Source: Historic England

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