Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Westwood long barrow, 400m east of Westwood Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Bisley-with-Lypiatt, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.7461 / 51°44'45"N

Longitude: -2.0938 / 2°5'37"W

OS Eastings: 393620.470752

OS Northings: 205265.881747

OS Grid: SO936052

Mapcode National: GBR 2P1.KFQ

Mapcode Global: VH950.NCGT

Entry Name: Westwood long barrow, 400m east of Westwood Farm

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016841

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32346

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Bisley-with-Lypiatt

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Edgeworth St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes a long barrow 400m east of Westwood Farm, oriented ENE-
WSW and standing on a flat hilltop in the Cotswolds overlooking a valley to
the west. It is visible as a mound 54m long, 21m wide, and ranging in height
from about 0.25m to 1.4m. There is an area of disturbance in the middle of the
northern side of the mound, which is considered to be the result of an
unrecorded excavation. The west end and southern side of the barrow are the
better preserved. Two parallel ditches, from which material was excavated for
the construction of the monument, lie one on either side of the barrow mound
to the north and south. These ditches are no longer visible at ground level,
having become infilled over time, but survive as buried features about 3m
The post and wire fence which runs east-west to the south of the long barrow
is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it 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

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.

Westwood long barrow survives well, despite some unrecorded excavation in the
past, and is situated within an area of considerable prehistoric activity. A
round barrow lies 200m to the north, while a second long barrow and a cross
dyke lie 1km further to the north (all are the subject of separate
schedulings). The long barrow mound will contain evidence for chambers,
burials and grave goods, which will provide information about prehistoric
funerary practices and about the local community at that time. The mound will
also preserve environmental information in the buried ground surface,
predating the construction of the barrow and giving evidence for the landscape
at the time of the barrow's construction. In addition, the mound and its
associated ditches will contain environmental information in the form of
organic remains which will relate both to the monument and the wider

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
O`Neil, H E, Grinsell, L V, 'Proc of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Arch Soc' in Gloucestershire Barrows, , Vol. LXXIX, (1960), 78

Source: Historic England

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