Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Long barrow on Fairmile Down

A Scheduled Monument in Collingbourne Kingston, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.3091 / 51°18'32"N

Longitude: -1.6333 / 1°37'59"W

OS Eastings: 425657.210175

OS Northings: 156732.604953

OS Grid: SU256567

Mapcode National: GBR 5ZW.V6Y

Mapcode Global: VHC29.MCX8

Entry Name: Long barrow on Fairmile Down

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1925

Last Amended: 17 January 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013051

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12191

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Collingbourne Kingston

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes a long barrow, surviving as a substantial earthwork, set
on the crest of a north-facing slope. The barrow mound is orientated east-
west and is ovoid in plan. It survives to a length of 41.5m, is 20m wide and
2.5m high at the higher east-end. Flanking ditches, from which material used
to construct the mound was quarried, run parallel to the north and south sides
of the mound. The northern ditch adjoins the barrow mound and is 7m wide and
0.75m deep. The southern ditch, which is separated from the mound by a narrow
berm 2m wide, is 9m wide and 1.5m deep.
The uneven surface of the barrow mound suggests partial excavation of the
site, probably in the 19th century.

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 Fairmile Down barrow is important as, despite evidence for
partial excavation, it survives particularly well and has considerable
archaeological potential. It is one of several long barrows and other
contemporary monument types occurring in the immediate area indicating the
intensity with which the area was settled during the Neolithic period.

Source: Historic England

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