Ancient Monuments

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Long barrow 200m east of parade ground, Groves Road, Halton Camp

A Scheduled Monument in Halton, Buckinghamshire

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Latitude: 51.7774 / 51°46'38"N

Longitude: -0.7174 / 0°43'2"W

OS Eastings: 488583.352421

OS Northings: 209526.790314

OS Grid: SP885095

Mapcode National: GBR D3F.KFX

Mapcode Global: VHDVD.JL39

Entry Name: Long barrow 200m east of parade ground, Groves Road, Halton Camp

Scheduled Date: 2 January 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013930

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27126

County: Buckinghamshire

Civil Parish: Halton

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Halton

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a Neolithic long barrow situated some 100m to the north
east of Groves Road which skirts the southern side of the parade ground at RAF
The barrow, which is orientated east to west, stands on a slight spur
projecting from the lower slopes of Haddington Hill, and would originally have
stood out from the horizon when viewed from the valley to the south and west.
The mound forms an elongated oval, c.1.2m high and approximately 45m in length
and 20m in width, with slight signs of tapering towards the west. A survey of
the mound made in 1925 demonstrates this tapered appearance more clearly, and
records the former appearance of the eastern end which has since been altered
by the construction of an adjacent horse jump and the build up of the area
between it and the mound. A limited excavation in the same year revealed
sequential layers of redeposited chalk, flint and clay used in the formation
of the mound. The layers contained fragments of prehistoric pottery, animal
bone, worked flint, burnt flint and other carbonised material. These finds are
thought to have resulted from the inclusion of occupation debris from
activities surrounding a mortuary enclosure subsequently buried within the
mound. No evidence was found for the quarry ditches normally associated with
this class of monument, although an inward facing scarp curving around the
eastern end of the mound was noted on the survey, and the composition of the
mound revealed by the excavation strongly suggests quarrying rather than the
use of turf or topsoil. It is thought that the excavation did not extend far
enough from the mound to reveal the locations of these buried features.

The barriers or horse jumps at either end of the mound are excluded from the
scheduling although the ground beneath these features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 10 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 long barrow at Halton Camp is one of only three such monuments located in
Buckinghamshire, and the only example to survive as an earthwork. It is
therefore of considerable importance for the understanding of early
prehistoric settlement in the county.
The barrow is very well preserved. Despite minor disturbance caused by
excavation across the central area of the mound, most of the barrow survives
well. Funerary remains, which are normally clustered at the eastern end of
such monuments, will have been left undisturbed by the excavation. Together
with other archaeological deposits within the mound, including any evidence of
an earlier mortuary structure, these remains will enable valuable insights
into early burial practices, the development of the monument and the beliefs
of the community which used the site. The former ground surface buried beneath
the mound, and further environmental evidence from the fills of the buried
quarry ditches, will illustrate the character of the surrounding area at the
time the barrow was built.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, Barrows in England and Wales, (1979), 9-10
Megaw, JVS, Simpson, DDA, Introduction to British Prehistory, (1981), 91-93
Manby, T G, 'Scot Arch Forum' in Long Barrows of Northern England; Structural And Dating Evidence, , Vol. 2, (1970), 13
Reader, F W, 'Records of Buckinghamshire' in A Discovery at Halton, , Vol. XI, (1926), 488
Excavator's plans and notes (archive), Reader, F W, 2230, (1926)

Source: Historic England

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