Ancient Monuments

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Long barrow on King's Play Hill, 430m north west of Hill Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Heddington, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.3929 / 51°23'34"N

Longitude: -1.9861 / 1°59'9"W

OS Eastings: 401061.934093

OS Northings: 165981.670328

OS Grid: SU010659

Mapcode National: GBR 2TG.NP0

Mapcode Global: VHB48.J8C2

Entry Name: Long barrow on King's Play Hill, 430m north west of Hill Cottage

Scheduled Date: 20 August 1924

Last Amended: 8 April 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013360

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12327

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Heddington

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Heddington St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a long barrow set just below the crest of a prominent
hill-top with extensive views of the Vale of Pewsey to the south and east. It
is orientated north east-south west and appears ovate in plan. The barrow
mound is 30m long, 8m wide and stands to a height of 1m. Flanking the barrow
mound to the south east and north west are ditches from which material was
quarried during construction of the monument. These have become infilled over
the years but survive as buried features c.3m wide.
The site was partly excavated by Cunnington in the 19th century. Finds
included a crouched skeleton and 19 flint flakes.

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 examples of
long barrows and long cairns, their counterparts in the uplands, are recorded
nationally. 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 cultivation and part excavation in the 19th century, the
King's Play Hill long barrow survives comparatively well and has potential for
the recovery of both archaeological remains and environmental evidence
relating to the period in which the monument was constructed.

Source: Historic England

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