Ancient Monuments

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Long barrow on Horton Down

A Scheduled Monument in Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.3913 / 51°23'28"N

Longitude: -1.8911 / 1°53'27"W

OS Eastings: 407672.926025

OS Northings: 165814.725929

OS Grid: SU076658

Mapcode National: GBR 3VX.NQN

Mapcode Global: VHB4B.59L7

Entry Name: Long barrow on Horton Down

Scheduled Date: 16 July 1956

Last Amended: 11 March 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013141

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12189

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Bishops Cannings

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Bishop's Cannings and Etchilhampton St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a long barrow set across a ridge-top on an area of
gently undulating chalk downland. The monument survives as a low earthwork,
rectangular in plan and orientated NNW-SSE. The barrow mound is c.40 long by
15m across and survives to a height of 0.4m. Flanking ditches, from which
material used to construct the mound was quarried, run parallel to the east
and west sides of the mound. These have been infilled over the years and now
survive as buried features c.5m across.
Large quantities of worked flint, including retouched artefacts and cores, are
visible both on the surface of the mound and in the immediate area around it.
These are believed to be contemporary with the construction and use of the

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. Despite some damage due to cultivation, the Horton Down barrow is
important as its survives comparatively well and, with no evidence of formal
excavation, has considerable archaeological potential.
It is one of several long barrows and other contemporary monument types
occurring in the immediate area giving an indication of the intensity with
which the area was settled during the Neolithic period.

Source: Historic England


Schofield A J, 08 March 1990, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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