Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Withington long barrow, 870m south west of Woodbridge Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Withington, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.826 / 51°49'33"N

Longitude: -1.9571 / 1°57'25"W

OS Eastings: 403049.818824

OS Northings: 214158.324151

OS Grid: SP030141

Mapcode National: GBR 3PL.J0H

Mapcode Global: VHB25.1C6H

Entry Name: Withington long barrow, 870m south west of Woodbridge Cottage

Scheduled Date: 30 October 1922

Last Amended: 13 October 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017072

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32374

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Withington

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Withington St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes a long barrow orientated ENE-WSW located just below the
crest of an east-facing hill in the Cotswolds. It is visible as a barrow mound
58m long, 18m wide and up to 2m high. There is an area of disturbance 14m from
the west end of the barrow, and a second depression 17m from the east end,
both of which are thought to have been the result of unrecorded excavations in
the past. Two parallel ditches, from which material was excavated during the
construction of the barrow, lie on either side of the barrow mound to the
north west and south east. These ditches are no longer visible at ground
level, having become infilled over the years, but survive as buried features
about 3m wide.
In 1883 Witts noted that the chamber at the eastern end of the mound had been
previously opened, and in 1936 O'Neil recorded the second area of disturbance
at the western end.

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.

Withington long barrow, 870m south west of Woodbridge Cottage survives
relatively well, despite localised disturbance at either end and lies in an
area of prehistoric activity with a round barrow 330m to the north west. The
barrow mound will contain evidence for chambers, burials and grave goods,
which will provide information about prehistoric funerary practices and about
the size of the local community at that time. The barrow mound will also
preserve environmental information in the buried original ground surface,
predating the construction of the barrow and giving an insight into the
landscape in which the monument was set. In addition the mound and its
associated ditches will also contain environmental evidence, in the form of
organic material, 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), 94

Source: Historic England

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