Ancient Monuments

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West Tump long barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Cranham, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.8176 / 51°49'3"N

Longitude: -2.1298 / 2°7'47"W

OS Eastings: 391146.528972

OS Northings: 213229.703111

OS Grid: SO911132

Mapcode National: GBR 1LQ.VSH

Mapcode Global: VH94M.1KDZ

Entry Name: West Tump long barrow

Scheduled Date: 30 August 1922

Last Amended: 24 September 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016078

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28845

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Cranham

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Brimpsfield St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes a long barrow orientated WNW-ESE on the crest of a
west-facing hillside in the Cotswolds.
The barrow, one of the so called Cotswold-Severn group, has a mound which
measures approximately 48m long and 3m high at its highest point. It is
approximately 10m wide at its west end, 23m wide in the middle and 12m wide at
the east end. On either side of the mound is a berm approximately 5m wide, and
a ditch. Material was excavated from the ditches during the construction of
the long barrow mound. The ditches can no longer be seen at ground level, but
survive as buried features approximately 5m wide.
The barrow was discovered by G B Witts in 1880, and subsequently excavated
by him in the same year. Witts noted that the south east end was seen to curve
in slightly forming characteristic `horns', and that the mound was surrounded
by a dry stone wall. The `horns' stood to a height of approximately 1m and
between them were two upright stones forming a false doorway. There was no
chamber at the south east end, but it was found 25m from the southern `horn'.
Here there was an entrance through the wall 0.6m wide. A passage 0.9m wide and
2m long led to the chamber. The chamber was 1.2m wide and 4.7m long and
contained about 20 skeletons. One of the skeletons, that of woman, was placed
at the end of the chamber on a semi-circle of flat stones. Finds included
pottery and a leaf-shaped arrow head. One sherd of pottery and the arrowhead,
are now in Cheltenham Museum. Crawford visited the site in 1920, by which time
the surrounding wall had disappeared. The remains of the `horns' can be seen
today forming a depression approximately 3m wide and 0.75m deep. Stonework is
exposed but masked by tree root growth. A depression in the top of the barrow
approximately 2m in diameter and 0.5m deep marks the position of the
excavation into the chamber.

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.

Previous investigation has shown that West Tump long barrow survives well, and
will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the barrow
and the landscape in which it was constructed. This monument represents an
example of a group of long barrows commonly referred to as the Cotswold-Severn
group, named after the area in which they are found.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Crawford, O G S, Long Barrows of the Cotswolds, (1925), 137
Crawford, O G S, Long Barrows of the Cotswolds, (1925), 137-138
Daniel, G E, Prehistoric Chamber Tombs of England and Wales, (1950), 132

Source: Historic England

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