Ancient Monuments

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Adam's Grave: a long barrow on Walker's Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Alton, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.3694 / 51°22'10"N

Longitude: -1.84 / 1°50'23"W

OS Eastings: 411234.641004

OS Northings: 163388.129034

OS Grid: SU112633

Mapcode National: GBR 3WC.3M3

Mapcode Global: VHB4C.2V41

Entry Name: Adam's Grave: a long barrow on Walker's Hill

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 28 January 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013032

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12188

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Alton

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes Adam's Grave, a long barrow set on a promontory above a
steep south-facing escarpment. It survives as a substantial earthwork
orientated NW-SE and is trapezoid in plan. The barrow mound is 70m long, c.7m
high and survives to an average width of 20m. Flanking ditches, from which
material used to construct the mound was quarried, run parallel to the north
and south sides of the mound. These are 7m wide and up to 2m deep.
The south-east end of the monument was partially excavated by Thurnham in
1860. Finds included part of a chamber formed from large sarsen stones,
traces of human skeletons and a leaf-shaped arrowhead.
Numerous other long barrows are known in the area while a broadly contemporary
enclosure at Knap Hill is situated on an neighbouring promontory.

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. Adam's Grave is important as, despite partial excavation in 1860, it
survives particularly well and has considerable archaeological potential.
Also as one of several long barrows and other contemporary monument types
occurring in the immediate area, it illustrates the intensity with which the
area was settled during the Neolithic period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine , , Vol. 79, ()
'Archaeologia' in Archaeologia, , Vol. 52, ()
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine: Volume 45, , Vol. 11, ()

Source: Historic England

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