Ancient Monuments

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Long barrow at Combe Gibbet, Gallows Down.

A Scheduled Monument in Combe, West Berkshire

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Latitude: 51.358 / 51°21'28"N

Longitude: -1.4775 / 1°28'39"W

OS Eastings: 436474.058133

OS Northings: 162234.915798

OS Grid: SU364622

Mapcode National: GBR 70T.Z40

Mapcode Global: VHC26.B4Q8

Entry Name: Long barrow at Combe Gibbet, Gallows Down.

Scheduled Date: 26 August 1924

Last Amended: 30 August 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013198

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12001

County: West Berkshire

Civil Parish: Combe

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Berkshire

Church of England Parish: Inkpen

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a long barrow on Gallows Down, 2km south of
Inkpen. The barrow is orientated east-west with flanking ditches
clearly visible to the north and south. The mound survives to a length
of c.65m and a width of 20m. It is higher to the eastern end where it
survives to a height of 1.5m. Elsewhere the mound averages between
0.5m and 1m. The ditches survive running the full length of the mound
to a width of 7m. The ditch is separated from the mound by a narrow
berm, varying in width between 3 and 7m. Both ditches survive to a
depth of 0.5m. No records of excavation or burial survive.
Situated on the mound, 25m from the east end, is Combe Gibbet. This
survives as a replacement for the original gallows and stands 4m in
height with a biased crossbar. The Gibbet structure is excluded from
the scheduling.

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.

Only three long barrows are recorded in Berkshire. As such they represent
outliers to the important cluster of similar monuments in Wiltshire and

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Underhill, F M, 'Berkshire Archaeological Journal' in British Archaeological Journal, , Vol. 49, (1946), 51

Source: Historic England

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