Ancient Monuments

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Long barrow on Easton Down

A Scheduled Monument in Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.3939 / 51°23'37"N

Longitude: -1.9098 / 1°54'35"W

OS Eastings: 406374.543332

OS Northings: 166094.095192

OS Grid: SU063660

Mapcode National: GBR 3VW.HZK

Mapcode Global: VHB49.V779

Entry Name: Long barrow on Easton Down

Scheduled Date: 16 July 1956

Last Amended: 7 March 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013366

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12190

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

Details

The monument includes a long barrow set on the crest of a local
promontary in an area of gently undulating chalk downland. The
monument is orientated east-west and is trapezoidal in plan. The
barrow mound is 36m long by 17m wide and c.3m high. Flanking ditches,
from which material used to construct the mound was quarried, run
broadly parallel to the north and south sides of the mound. These have
become infilled over the years and now survive as buried features c.5m
across.
Worked flint artefacts are visible both on the surface of the mound
and in the area of the ditches. The site was partially excavated by
Thurnham in the late 19th century. Finds included four burials within
the mound.

MAP EXTRACT
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 Easton Down barrow is important as it
survives well, despite partial excavation, and has potential for the
recovery of archaeological and environmental evidence.
The importance of the monument is enhanced by the fact that numerous other
long barrows and additional contemporary monument types occur in the
immediate area indicating the intensity with which the area was
settled during the Neolithic period.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine: Volume 6, , Vol. 6, (), 324
Other
Schofield A J, 02 March 1990,

Source: Historic England

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