Ancient Monuments

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Long barrow 650m WSW of Shepherds' Shore

A Scheduled Monument in Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.3938 / 51°23'37"N

Longitude: -1.9457 / 1°56'44"W

OS Eastings: 403870.567923

OS Northings: 166084.149606

OS Grid: SU038660

Mapcode National: GBR 3VV.DXC

Mapcode Global: VHB49.776C

Entry Name: Long barrow 650m WSW of Shepherds' Shore

Scheduled Date: 10 November 1964

Last Amended: 19 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014030

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21896

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 Neolithic long barrow, 650m WSW of Shepherds' Shore.
It is situated on a false crest overlooking a slight valley to the south and
west. The barrow is aligned ENE-WSW, is oval in shape and lies about 500m
south of the Wansdyke.
The barrow mound has been reduced by cultivation over the years but survives
as a visible earthwork measuring 35m long and 16m wide. It stands up to 0.2m
high. Originally, it stood at least 1m high and is known from partial
excavation in the early 1800s to have contained both inhumation and cremation
Unusually, it appears that the barrow mound was constructed without flanking
quarry ditches. Chalk and turf was gathered from nearby fields to construct
the mound and use was made of the natural contours of the slope to enhance its

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

A small number of areas in southern England appear to have acted as foci for
ceremonial and ritual activity during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age
periods. Two of the best known and earliest recognised, with references in the
17th century, are around Avebury and Stonehenge, now jointly designated as a
World Heritage Site. In the Avebury area, the henge monument itself, the West
Kennet Avenue, the Sanctuary, West Kennet long barrow, Windmill Hill
causewayed enclosure and the enigmatic Silbury Hill are well-known. Whilst the
other Neolithic long barrows, the many Bronze Age round barrows and other
associated sites are less well-known, together they define one of the most
rich and varied areas of Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial and ritual
monuments in the country. 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 it is probable that long barrows acted as important
ritual sites for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some
500 long barrows and long cairns, their counterparts in the uplands, are
recorded in England of which fifteen survive in the Avebury area. These
represent an important group for understanding the historical context within
which Avebury developed during the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age
periods; all are considered to be worthy of protection.

Despite having been reduced by cultivation, the long barrow 650m WSW of
Shepherds' Shore is known from excavation to contain archaeological and
environmental evidence relating to its construction, funerary function and the
landscape in which it was built.
This is a rare example of a long barrow constructed without the excavation of
quarry ditches.

Source: Historic England


SU06NW 109, C.A.O., Neolithic long barrow, (1979)
SU06NW 674, C.A.O., Wansdyke, (1979)

Source: Historic England

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