Ancient Monuments

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Long barrow 140m WSW of the Battery Hill triangulation point

A Scheduled Monument in Idmiston, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1122 / 51°6'44"N

Longitude: -1.7087 / 1°42'31"W

OS Eastings: 420490.362202

OS Northings: 134810.531125

OS Grid: SU204348

Mapcode National: GBR 50Z.6T8

Mapcode Global: VHC37.B9KQ

Entry Name: Long barrow 140m WSW of the Battery Hill triangulation point

Scheduled Date: 5 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014089

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26751

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Idmiston

Built-Up Area: Gomeldon

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Idmiston with Porton Gomeldon St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a long barrow lying across a north west facing slope
immediately below and to the west of the crest of Battery Hill. The barrow
has a mound 30m long, orientated NNE-SSW, which reaches a maximum width of 15m
and a maximum height of 1.2m at its northern end. The mound tapers to the
opposite (southern) end where its height reduces to c.0.3m and its profile
merges into that of the flanking ditches. These, which lie alongside the
mound, and from which material to construct it was quarried, appear on the
surface to vary considerably in width. At the northern end of the mound, that
on its upslope (eastern) side appears to be c.12m wide while that on the
downslope side is c.7m wide. This variation, which is matched by some
eccentricity in the profile of the barrow mound at this point, is most
probably caused by the effects of cultivation of the slopes around the barrow.
At the northern end of the barrow the overall width of mound and flanking
ditches is c.40m, reducing to c.30m at its southern end.
Excluded from the scheduling are all archaeological site markers although the
ground beneath these is included.

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

Since 1916 the Porton Down Range has been used for military purposes. As on
the Salisbury Plain Training Area, this has meant that it has not been subject
to the intensive arable farming seen elsewhere on the Wessex chalk. Porton, as
a result, is one of very few surviving areas of uncultivated chalk downland in
England and contains a range of well-preserved archaeological sites, many of
Neolithic or Bronze Age date. These include long barrows and round barrows,
flint mines, and evidence for settlement, land division and agriculture.
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 on Battery Hill is a well preserved example of its class
which, despite some erosion caused by burrowing animals, exhibits a largely
original profile. The barrow will contain archaeological remains providing
information about Neolithic beliefs, economy and environment.

Source: Historic England

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