Ancient Monuments

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Long Burgh long barrow, Alfriston.

A Scheduled Monument in Alfriston, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8105 / 50°48'37"N

Longitude: 0.1422 / 0°8'32"E

OS Eastings: 551024.216214

OS Northings: 103404.772067

OS Grid: TQ510034

Mapcode National: GBR LSC.0SQ

Mapcode Global: FRA C65Y.K7M

Entry Name: Long Burgh long barrow, Alfriston.

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 7 June 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012923

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12774

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Alfriston

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Alfriston with Lullington

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The Long Barrow is situated on level ground at the crest of a chalk spur
overlooking the Cuckmere Valley and present day Alfriston. It is orientated
NE-SW, with the slightly broader and higher end to the NE.
The most distinctive feature of the monument is the elongated earthen mound
which measures 56m in length and some 20m in width. At its highest point the
mound stands some 1.5m above the level of the surrounding land. Less obvious
but nevertheless discernible are a pair of flanking ditches which parallel the
mound and from which the chalk and earth used to construct the mound was
quarried. The ditches curve around the ends of the mound but do not meet.
There is evidence of a number of excavations at the site of the monument in
the form of three marked hollows towards the NE end. At least one was created
in 1767, when 'a skeleton and an urn' were discovered, but these finds
probably relate to the reuse of the mound in the Bronze Age.
Comparison with other monuments of the same form indicates that this example
originated in the Neolithic period.
The monument lies at the junction of downland paths, one of which skirts the
mound at its NE end. Here the surface of the path is excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 Long Burgh example survives well apart from the localised damage caused by
digging in the past. It is therefore of high archaeological potential. The
monument is also relatively well documented and is of high amenity value due
to its proximity to public footpaths.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Toms, H S, Sussex Archaeological Collections, (1922), 161-2
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Long Barrows, (1989)
TQ 50 SW 13,

Source: Historic England

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